Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

France 24 meets George Weah ahead of inauguration

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Gymnast's fierce courtroom address

Read more

THE DEBATE

A whole new world: Trump anniversary special

Read more

#TECH 24

Will artificial intelligence ever surpass the human brain?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Aiding migrants in France: What are the legal implications?

Read more

FOCUS

The challenge of clearing Colombia of landmines

Read more

REVISITED

Video: Gambians reflect on first year of democracy

Read more

FASHION

Pitti Uomo in Florence, the world's largest men's fashion showcase

Read more

ENCORE!

Award-winning Filipino filmmaker Brillante Mendoza on keeping it real

Read more

Africa

French warship captures 11 pirates near Kenyan coast

Video by Philip CROWTHER

Latest update : 2009-04-17

A French warship patrolling waters off East Africa as part of an EU anti-piracy force captured 11 pirates near the Kenyan coast on Wednesday, the French defence ministry has announced.

AFP - A French warship patrolling waters off East Africa as part of an EU anti-piracy force intercepted a pirate "mother ship" on Wednesday and arrested 11 gunmen, the French defence ministry said.


   
The frigate chased the pirates 500 nautical miles (926 kilometres) east of the Kenyan coast after tracking them overnight from the scene of a failed attack on a Liberian-registered vessel, a spokesman said.
   
"The pirates were sailing a 10-metre (33-foot) mother ship carrying 17 drums holding 200 litres of fuel each and two assault skiffs," he said, adding that the captives were being held on board the French warship, the Nivose.
   
"The frigate spotted the pirates on the evening of April 14 when its helicopter intervened to thwart an attack on the merchantman (ship) Safmarine Asia. She followed their boats overnight and intervened at dawn," he said.
   
The Nivose is part of the eight-strong Atalante taskforce of warships from France, Germany, Spain and Italy sailing under the banner of the European Union to aid international efforts to curb a spate of Somali pirate attacks.
   
It recently shifted its patrol zone to the area east of Somalia and Kenya after the pirates, who operate out of bases in Somali fishing towns, began to enlarge their own area of operations and intensified their attacks.
   
Separately, French foreign ministry spokesman Romain Nadal said that the force would soon be expanded and that more European powers would take part, patrolling an area of ocean that sees 16,000 ships pass through per year.
   
"Atalante is able to protect two ships in three," Nadal said, including 19 cargo vessels that have been used by the World Food Programme to bring 120,000 tonnes of food aid to 1.8 million Somalis since the operation began.
   
As well as the EU force, the United States, Russia, India, Turkey, China and others have deployed warships to protect international shipping. The pirates appear undaunted, however, and have even stepped up attacks.

Date created : 2009-04-15

COMMENT(S)