Collective effort needed to combat piracy : Antony

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Kochi, Nov 26 (UNI) Defence Minister A K Antony today stressed the need to have a 'co-ordinated effort' among various countries to rein in the piracy menace off Somalian coast.

Talking to mediapersons here, Mr Antony said ''the Indian Navy was doing a commendable job to check the pirates from hijacking ships in the pirate-infested area.'' He said the UN should work as a co-ordinator among various nations to make a collective effort to combat the problem.

Besides India, the navies from countries like the US, UK, China, Russia and Canada were patrolling the vast area, he added.

''India would do whatever it can within the international laws and whatever we can do, we are doing it,'' he noted.

On media reports that INS Tobar had sunk a Thailand fishing trawler mistaking it for a pirate mothership off Oman, Mr Antony said ''I read in the newpapers and don't have further details.

I will look into the matter.'' On the prevalence of extremist activities in various parts of the country, Mr Antony said ''it was not good to give a religion or caste identity to the face of extremism. All extremists should be treated as criminals without giving any tag to them.'' Mr Antony said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to inaugurate the Ezhimala Naval Academy in Kannur district in January next.

UNI MA PMM SK AS1806

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