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Navy Ship

NAIROBI, Kenya — U.S. naval forces say they’ve captured five pirates after exchanging fire with them, sinking their skiff and confiscating a mother ship.

The USS Nicholas came under fire early Thursday from pirates in an area west of the Seychelles.

The U.S. Africa Command said the five pirates seized would remain in U.S. custody on board the frigate for time time being. The Nicholas is home-ported in Norfolk, Va.

GALLERY: Black Soldiers

International naval forces have stepped up their enforcement of the waters off East Africa in an effort to thwart a growing pirate trade.

Experts say piracy will continue to be a problem until an effective government is established on Somalia’s lawless shores. The country has not had a functioning government for 19 years.

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