German naval forces are to be sent to fight pirates off the coast of Somalia. Around 1,400 troops and a frigate will join the EU Atalanta anti-piracy operation. With German exporters confronted by a surge in attacks, parliamentarians in Germany’s lower chamber – the Bundestag – voted overwhelmingly for the deployment.German Defence Minister Franz Josef Jung said: ‘‘If you look at the 200 or so ships that have been captured this year and consider, as far as I know, the 12 ships and 300 sailors currently in pirate hands, it is clear that sea security is in our interests.’‘ The level of piracy in the Gulf of Aden off Somalia has become a major headache for shipping companies and forced both the EU and US to act. A German frigate is already in the region under the US led mission ‘Operation Enduring Freedom’. It’s expected to join the EU fleet immediately. Causing havoc to international shipping, pirates have captured dozens of vessels, including a Saudi supertanker, this year.