Page last updated at 12:01 GMT, Monday, 3 November 2008

Navy war vessels tackle pirates

HMS Cumberland: Pic Royal Navy
Many ships off the Somalian coast have been attacked in recent weeks

Two ships with links to the North of England are helping tackle pirates off the coast of Somalia.

HMS Cumberland and HMS Northumberland are conducting anti-piracy operations in the wake of a rise in attacks on merchant ships in the Gulf of Aden.

Many of the ships attacked in recent weeks have been carrying essential food supplies to Somalian ports.

HMS Northumberland, which was built of the Tyne, will also be deployed in Africa and the South Atlantic.

HMS Cumberland was built on the Clyde in Scotland, but has links with its namesake county where it supports the training of Cumbrian sea cadets.

Peter Sparkes, commanding officer of HMS Cumberland, said: "We are here as part of NATO's commitment to fighting piracy.

"HMS Cumberland and Northumberland are operating as a force for good while bearing the proud names of our respective counties."

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