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Chinese naval ships return from escort mission
Updated: 2009-04-28 16:23

SANYA -- Two Chinese warships returned Tuesday to a naval base at Sanya in the southernmost province of Hainan island after a four-month escort mission in the pirate-infested Gulf of Aden.

Chinese naval ships return from escort mission

Chinese navy soldiers attend a welcome-home ceremony for two Chinese warships which returned from a four-month escort mission at a port in Sanya in south China's Hainan province. [Xinhua]

The two destroyers with the People's Liberation Army Navy, DDG-169 Wuhan and DDG-171 Haikou with a supply ship, took part in the country's first battle-ready overseas deployment beyond its territorial waters.

They departed from Sanya on December 26.

The supply ship, Weishanhu, stayed with another two relieving warships on duty off the Somali coast to protect Chinese merchant vessels as well as other ships on request.

According to the task force's commander, the Wuhan and Haikou escorted 179 Chinese vessels, including 73 ships from Hong Kong and nine from Taiwan. Chinese warships also protected 33 foreign ships and rescued three chased by pirates.

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