Chinese warships have set sail for an anti-piracy mission off Somalia, China's official Xinhua News Agency reported.
The ships that left the southern island province of Sanya on Friday are the first to go on a naval mission that could involve fighting so far beyond China's territorial waters.
China announced it was joining the anti-piracy mission Tuesday after the UN Security Council authorized nations to conduct land and air attacks on pirate bases.
Pirates have made an estimated $30 million hijacking ships for ransom this year, seizing more than 40 vessels off Somalia's 1,880-mile (3,000-kilometer) coastline.
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