French Navy storms sailboat held by Somali Pirates, one hostage killed

Mike Schuler
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April 10, 2009


In a completely unrelated incident from the Maersk Alabama situation, the Associated Press and other news sources are reporting that the French Navy has stormed a sail boat being held hostage by Somali pirates in a bid to free the hostages on board.

France’s navy stormed a French sailboat held by pirates off the Somali coast Friday in an assault triggered by threats the passengers would be executed, but one hostage was killed in the operation, French Defense Minister Herve Morin said.

Two pirates also were killed. Four hostages, including a small child, were freed.

In a break with French government policy, authorities proposed a ransom but the pirates rejected the offer, Morin said. Three pirates were taken prisoner.

A grim-faced Morin said that “negotiations were leading nowhere, and the boat was approaching the coast.” He said French President Nicolas Sarkozy gave the order to attack. It came at 3:30 p.m. Paris time (1330 GMT) some 20 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia. Read full story…

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