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No Nintendo game this Xmas? Blame Somali pirates

Alarmed at the growing number of attacks off Somalia, international merchant shipping is edging closer to doing the unthinkable in peace time: by-passing one of world's most vital trade routes.

Somali pirates have been plundering ships off the Horn of Africa for years, but the recent surge in attacks has spilled out into the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea, threatening access to the Suez Canal.

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