EU force intends to use guards to deter pirates

The British naval commander in charge of the EU's anti-piracy mission off the coast of Somalia said Tuesday that the force intends to station armed guards on the most vulnerable cargo ships in high-risk areas. British Vice Admiral Philip Jones told reporters that the EU's flotilla - which started operations on Tuesday - will seek to place "vessel-protection detachments" on board some ships transporting food aid to Somalia. The EU mission has four ships and two maritime reconnaissance aircraft. It will replace the four-vessel NATO flotilla that has been conducting anti-piracy patrols off the Somali coast on Dec. 15.