Navy reports drop in pirate attacks off Africa

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Acts of piracy in the waters around the Horn of Africa have fallen sharply this year, according to statistics released by the U.S. Navy.

The Navy credits aggressive patrolling by international forces and increased vigilance by the commercial shipping industry for the decrease, according to The New York Times.

Data the Navy released last week showed 46 pirate attacks in the area this year, compared with 222 in all of last year and 239 in 2010. Nine of the piracy attempts this year have been successful, according to the data, compared with 34 successful attacks in all of 2011 and 68 in 2010.

Even so, senior Navy officers have been careful not to declare victory.

“The pirates are very adaptable and they are very flexible,” Vice Adm. Mark I. Fox, the Navy’s deputy chief for operations, plans and strategy, told the newspaper. “We are watching carefully.”

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