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Anti-pirate mission thrown into doubt

Swiss participation in action against Somali pirates is again in doubt after the House of Representatives voted against the proposal.

On Wednesday the House turned down government plans to send up to 30 troops to take part in the European Union’s Atalanta operation in the Gulf of Aden.

An alliance of the rightwing Swiss People’s Party, the Greens and some members of the centre-left Social Democrats voted against.

The troops would help protect ships flying under the Swiss flag and those carrying food aid for the United Nations. The cost of the participation is estimated at SFr16 million ($15.4 million).

The mandate is limited to the end of 2010.

The bill will now return to the Senate, which earlier passed it in a first reading. and agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR