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MILITARY

Swedish navy hands suspected pirates to Kenya

Swedish naval forces handed seven suspected Somali pirates over to Kenyan authorities on Monday, according to police.

Swedish navy hands suspected pirates to Kenya

The seven pirates were arrested by the Swedes as they tried to hijack a Greek merchant vessel in the lawless waters off Somalia on May 26th.

“The suspects tried to attack MV Antonis, which was sailing from Europe to Asia before the Swedish navy patrolling along the Gulf of Aden arrested them,” Ayub Ali Gitonga, chief of police in the Kenyan port of Mombasa told reporters.

They were flown on a chartered flight from Djibouti to Mombasa, but their trial will take place in Malindi, a coastal town, 130 kilometres of Mombasa.

Gitonga said the trial venue was moved due to congestion at the Mombasa prison where other pirate suspects are being held.

The Swedish warship HMS Malmö responded to a distress call from the MV Antonis, which said it was under attack from pirates using rocket-propelled grenades.

The Swedish vessel is taking part in an international anti-piracy drive in the lawless waters off Somalia.

Sweden has had three corvettes and 152 personnel patrolling the Gulf of Aden since May 15 as part of a European Union force, which is running an anti-piracy naval mission off Somalia.

Piracy watchdogs say there have been 114 attempted hijackings this year, compared with 111 during the whole of 2008.

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NATO

Turkey forms ‘permanent committee’ to assess Swedish Nato deal

Turkey on Thursday said a new "permanent committee" would meet Finnish and Swedish officials in August to assess if the two nations are complying with Ankara's conditions to ratify their Nato membership bids.

Turkey forms 'permanent committee' to assess Swedish Nato deal

Finland and Sweden dropped their history of military non-alignment and announced plans to join Nato after Russia invaded Ukraine at the end of
February. All 30 Nato members must ratify the accession.

Nato member Turkey has demanded the extradition of dozens of suspected “terrorists” from both countries under an accession deal the three signed last month.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to “freeze” the process over Sweden and Finland’s failure to extradite the suspects.

He accuses them of providing a haven for outlawed Kurdish militants. “If these countries are not implementing the points included in the
memorandum that we signed, we will not ratify the accession protocol,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu reaffirmed in a televised interview.

He said the committee would meet in August but provided no details.Turkey’s parliament has broken for its summer recess and will not be able
to hold a ratification vote before October. Some Turkish officials have warned that the process may drag out until next year.

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