Hostages held by pirates off Somalia freed: FranceApril 11th, 2008 - 7:50 pm ICT by admin
Paris, April 11 (DPA) As many as 30 hostages held by Somali pirates have been freed, the Elysee Palace in Paris said Friday. Pirates off the coast of Somalia seized the 22 French citizens and eight other nationals on board the luxury yacht Le Ponant a week ago.
The yacht was stormed and taken in the Gulf of Aden by a group of armed men April 4 and was reported to be anchored off the Somali coast, south of the autonomous region of Puntland.
The French government had been in contact with the kidnappers and had also sent a special unit of elite soldiers to Djibouti, some 1,000 km away, to pressure the pirates to reach an early agreement.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy thanked the French security forces and state services for bringing about the hostages’ release “quickly and without incident”.
Further details on the release were not given.
Sarkozy was to meet relatives of the former hostages later Friday.
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said France would organize the swift repatriation of the former hostages and he added that the international community must mobilize to fight piracy in the Gulf of Aden and off the Somalia coast.
Paris also intends to urge the UN to provide protection for international shipping near the Somali coast.
- Somali leader backs Indian action against pirates (Lead) - May 16, 2012
- Will support Indian military action against pirates: Somali leader - May 15, 2012
- India ready to join global efforts to tackle piracy - Jun 22, 2011
- India mulls law to battle sea pirates - Mar 12, 2011
- 26 sailors rescued from Somali pirates - Jul 18, 2012
- India, UAE to work together to counter piracy - May 18, 2012
- Germany calls for prosecution of Somali pirates - Jun 22, 2011
- 12 hostages rescued from Somali pirates - Apr 13, 2012
- Hostage crisis: Navy rushes warship to Somali coast - Apr 18, 2011
- Somali pirates release Bulgarian-flagged chemical product tanker after four months - Sep 09, 2010
- Indian Navy warship deployed near Somali coast to free sailors - Apr 19, 2011
- Efforts on for release of 53 Indian sailors: Krishna - Mar 11, 2011
- India tweaks navy's anti-piracy rules of engagement (Lead) - Mar 11, 2011
- India, Somalia agree to tackle Somali pirates menace jointly - Mar 28, 2011
- UN chief appalled by Somali pirates' killing of Americans - Feb 23, 2011