Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

Christian Kastrop, Director of Policy Studies, OECD

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola: UN Security Council unanimously passes resolution

Read more

ENCORE!

Author Kiran Desai on early success and the Booker Prize

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

Tyler Brûlé, Founder and Editor-in-chief of Monocle

Read more

REPORTERS

From Sarajevo to Guantanamo, the journey of the Algerian Six

Read more

#THE 51%

Angelique Kidjo, 'Africa’s premier diva'

Read more

FASHION

The Quest for an Exceptional Object

Read more

FOCUS

Ukraine's 'volunteer' battalions: Under Kiev's control?

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

US strategy to combat the Islamic State group

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)