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Pirate Attacks in West Africa on the Rise

ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images(JOHANNESBURG) -- Pirate attacks on the west coast of Africa now outnumber attacks by Somali pirates on the east coast, a new report by the International Maritime Bureau finds.

There were 966 West African attacks in 2012, compared to 851 by Somali pirates, according to the report.

While criminals on both coasts are armed with guns, the report shows Somali pirates continue to kidnap more victims, and hold them for ransom for 11 months on average.  Hostages along the West African coast are typically held for four days while their cargo is looted.

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