FILE - In this Dec. 6, 2009 file photo Somali government coast guards patrol the coast of Mogadishu, Somalia to keep a watch for pirates who hijack ships off the coast. Motivated by a few sky-high ... more 
FILE - In this Dec. 6, 2009 file photo Somali government coast guards patrol the coast of Mogadishu, Somalia to keep a watch for pirates who hijack ships off the coast. Motivated by a few sky-high ransom paydays, Somali pirates are holding on to hijacked ships and crew almost twice as long as they did only 18 months ago, prolonging the hostages' ordeal and increasing their numbers to above 500, a possible record. Ships hijacked in April, May and June have been held an average of 106 days, up sharply from the 55 days that the average ship hijacked in early 2009 was held, maritime expert Cyrus Mody told The Associated Press on Wednesday Nov. 17, 2010.(AP photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh, File) less 
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Associated Press
Fri, Nov 19, 2010 12:19 AM EST