China's 7th naval escort squad returns home from Somali waters

08:36, May 10, 2011      

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Members of military band perform during a welcome ceremony for the return of Chinese Navy Seventh Escort Task Force in Zhoushan, east China's Zhejiang Province, May 9, 2011. The flotilla, consisting of two missile frigates, returned home after visiting Tanzania, South Africa and Seychelles, and accomplishing an escort mission over Somalia sea areas. (Xinhua/Fan Junwei)

After serving in Somali waters for six months, the missile frigates Zhoushan and Xuzhou serving the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy returned home Monday to a naval base in the Zhoushan Islands in eastern China.

During their 189-day mission in the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters, the two frigates rescued one ship from onboard pirate attacks and another nine from pirate pursuits.

The flotilla escorted 578 vessels to protect them from pirates in the region. The team also escorted ships used to evacuate Chinese citizens from Libya.

Prior to the ships' return, the team visited Tanzania, South Africa and the Republic of Seychelles, and stopped over at Singapore.

The frigates set sail for the Gulf of Aden on November 2, 2010.

The Qiandaohu, a supply ship previously with the 7th escort force, was ordered to continue its mission with the 8th squad.

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Source: Xinhua
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