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Piracy at Record Highs

According to a report by the International Maritime Bureau, maritime piracy increased to hit all-time record highs during the first three months of 2011. The report estimated that there were 142 pirate attacks across the globe during the first quarter this year. This increase in attacks could be partly due to a surge in piracy off the coast of Somalia.

Off the Somali coastline, there were 97 attacks during the first three months of 2011. That is an increase from 35 attacks during the same period last year. Across the globe, during the first three months of 2011, there were a total of 18 vessels that were hijacked by pirates. These attacks resulted in 344 crewmembers being taken hostage, and six hostages being kidnapped. Additionally, at least 45 vessels were boarded by pirates and 45 more vessels reported that they were fired upon by pirates.

In the first three months of 2011, seven crew members were murdered by pirates and an additional 34 crewmembers were injured in these attacks. In the first quarter of 2006, there had been just two injuries reported.