Patrol frigate to escort aid ships in Somalia
A Canadian naval frigate will provide protection from pirate attacks for ships carrying food and other supplies through the waters off Somalia.
Defence Minister Peter MacKay said the federal government is sending HMCS Ville de Quebec at the request of the UN World Food Program.
"Food supplies are urgently needed in Somalia but deteriorating security has made delivery difficult by land and sea," MacKay said in a release.
The Defence Department said there have been 24 attacks by pirates this year, though none of the WFP ships have been targeted. France, Denmark and the Netherlands have provided naval escorts this year.
Ville de Quebec was diverted from a NATO exercise. The ship will resume its original duties once its month-long mission in Somalia ends.
The frigate left Halifax in July and is scheduled to return by December.