Russia has proposed the creation of an international criminal tribunal to combat piracy in the waters off the Horn of Africa.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has announced that Russia, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, could establish a special criminal tribunal on piracy.

Earlier this month, the European Union (EU) extended its piracy mission off the coast of Somalia until the end of 2010.

In 2008, nearly 306 global piracy incidents have been reported, including 136 in the East African region.

About 300 incidents have been reported between January and September this year, including 160 in East Africa.

As of 27 October, eight vessels and 178 sailors have been held hostage.