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There has been a sharp drop in the number of pirate attacks on ships during the first quarter of 2010, says the International Maritime Bureau(IMB).
An IMB report released on Wednesday said pirate attack of ships worldwide had come down to 67 during the first three months of the current year from 102 reported in the corresponding period of last year.
The report attributed the drop in incidents to the close vigil maintained by naval forces in the pirate-infested waters of the Gulf of Aden as well as steps taken by mercantile marines.
"This marked reduction can be attributed to the continued presence and success of the navies in the Gulf of Aden along with the robust anti piracy measures adopted by the merchant navy fleet," it said.
Out of the 67 hijackings recorded so far in 2010, Somali pirates carried out 35 and the IMB called for extreme caution in dealing with corsairs from the war-ravaged nation who were equipped to fire automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades at ships.
"Somali pirates are dangerous and are prepared to fire their automatic weapons and rocket propelled grenades at vessels in order to stop them," the report pointed out.