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Change plan to rein in pirates: US

world Updated: Jan 28, 2011 00:52 IST
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A US Navy admiral on Wednesday called for using counter-terrorism tactics against Somali pirates, warning the gangs have extended their reach into the Indian Ocean and seized more hostages. A tougher strategy was needed to address the growing danger of piracy, with commercial shipping now under increasing threat off India's coast, said US Central Command naval forces chief Vice Admiral Mark Fox.

The number of hostages seized by the Somali pirates has jumped sharply, from 350 in September to 750 this month, he said. The admiral called for "a change in approach that I think is warranted because the scope of problem has expanded."

His comments suggested resorting to more military action usually associated with the US counter-terror campaign, including pre-emptive assaults and strikes by armed drones.