Singapore - Small vessels carrying liquid gas or chemicals through the Malacca Strait are at greater risk from a terrorist attack than are large ships, a think tank said in a published report Wednesday.

Figures from the International Maritime Bureau showed there were 12 pirate attacks last year in the strait, one of the world's busiest waterways.

Despite the apparent vulnerability of the strait, the institute's report in The Straits Times said there was a low probability of a high-impact terrorist attack on shipping and little evidence of links between terrorists and pirates.

'Due to the relative vulnerability of smaller and slower vessels, the greatest threat to a port might in fact come from a small liquified petroleum gas or chemical tanker rather than the larger vessels, which tend to attract the most security attention at present,' the report said.

The institute called on the three littoral states - Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore - to accept assistance from countries that have offered help, including India, China, Australia, Japan and the United States.

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