The commander of the European Union's flotilla combating piracy off Somalia says there is evidence for the first time that pirate ships are coordinating their attacks on commercial shipping.
British Rear Admiral Philip Jones says that in recent weeks EU warships have captured four of the mother ships the gangs use to resupply the speedboats they operate far offshore in the Indian Ocean.
Jones says searches of the vessels yielded no evidence they were receiving outside intelligence on the movements of commercial shipping. But they revealed that the mother ships were exchanging information on the positions of cargo vessels they had seen or tried to attack.
Attacks on commercial shipping off the Somali coast have exploded in the last two years.