French warship captures 19 Somali pirates
A French warship captured 19 Somali pirates on when it came to the rescue of two cargo ships threatened in the Gulf of Aden, Sarkozy's office said.
A French warship captured 19 Somali pirates on Sunday when it came to the rescue of two cargo ships threatened in the Gulf of Aden, the office of President Nicolas Sarkozy said.
The French naval vessel "Jean de Vienne" was on patrol off the Somali coast as part of a European Union anti-piracy force when it came to the rescue of a Croatian cargo vessel and a Panamanian ship crossing the Gulf of Aden.
The 19 Somali pirates, armed and equipped with equipment to board the vessels, were captured and have been handed over to Somali authorities, the statement said.
The incident came three days after another French vessel captured eight Somali pirates who attacked a Panamanian registered vessel.
Piracy off Somalia, one of the world's busiest shipping areas, has soared over the past year, earning the pirates millions of dollars of ransom payments and pushing up maritime insurance rates.
The European Union set up an anti-piracy naval task force under British command last month involving warships and aircraft from several nations in the first such naval operation of its kind.
Reuters Last Mod: 05 Ocak 2009, 12:58