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Chinese navy escort ships complete first joint escort operation

(Xinhua)

08:51, July 23, 2012

GULF OF ADEN, July 21 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese navy's 11th and 12th escort groups accomplished their first joint escort operation here Friday.

The groups escorted six merchant ships from China, Singapore, Norway, South Korea and Portugal.

The two fleets held a handover ceremony on the destroyer "Qingdao" before the joint escort operation. The farewell ceremony of the 11th group will be held on July 23. Then the flotilla will leave the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters and embark on a goodwill visit.

The 11th group has escorted 184 ships in 43 operations since it started the mission on Feb. 27. A total of 126 pirate vessels in 58 incidents were successfully driven away by the fleet.

To date, the Chinese navy fleets have escorted 4,727 ships from countries all over the world.

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