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(CNN) -- A French yacht. A Japanese tanker. A Spanish fishing boat. After several years of decline, pirates are striking with increasing frequency on the high seas.
Attacks in the first three months of this year were up 20 percent compared with the same period in 2007, analysts say. Last year saw more pirate attacks than the year before.
And while the motive is still money, today's pirates are a far cry from the eye-patched, peg-legged swashbucklers of Hollywood.
The size of the gang more than doubled to 20 when the pirates began to fear an American warship patrolling the area might try to free the hostages.