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Volume 487: debated on Monday 2 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what rules of engagement apply to members of the armed forces when engaging pirates; and if he will make a statement. (250676)

Royal Navy ships participating in counter-piracy operations are trained and provided with the required rules of engagement to counter the threats they may face. Under these guidelines, HMS Cumberland successfully deterred an attack and rescued a pirated Yemeni vessel and crew last November.

I am withholding details of rules of engagement as their release would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of our armed forces.