Pirates have been attacking ships off Somalia for years. Here a merchant vessel sails free after a ransom was paid.
Piracy has gotten so bad off the coast of Somalia that the European Union is prepared to form an anti-piracy force to police the region. The unresolved seizure of a freighter loaded with Russian tanks is the most recent in a spate of incidents involving more than 60 vessels and $30 million in ransom so far this year.
The European Union has agreed to establish an anti-piracy security operation off the coast of Somalia.
French Defence Minister Herve Morin said at least eight countries have agreed to take part.
The deal follows the seizure of a ship laden with 33 tanks—a $20m (£11m) ransom is wanted for its release.