- France - hostages - Piracy (maritime) - Somalia
AFP - Four freed hostages, including the widow and three-year-old son of a French skipper killed in a special forces shootout with Somali pirates, flew home on Sunday, the French defence ministry said.
Defence Minister Herve Morin welcomed Chloe Lemacon, her son Colin and two friends also taken hostage on the yacht, at a military airport near Paris where they touched down on a French-chartered aircraft at 5:00 pm (1500 GMT).
The yacht's owner, 28-year-old Florent Lemacon, was killed Friday when commandos stormed their yacht, the Tanit, six days after Somali pirates seized it in the Gulf of Aden.
just one of a rash of pirate attacks off the east African coast.
Two pirates were shot dead as commandos stormed the boat, while three others were taken prisoner.
Morin has said that Lemacon may have been killed by French fire, saying a post-mortem examination and inquiry would seek to determine what happened.
It was not immediately known if Lemacon's body was on the plane, or whether it would be repatriated separately.
Chloe and Florent Lemacon left France's Brittany region in July 2008 with their son, then two years old, aboard the 12.5 metre (42-feet) yacht, picking up another couple along the way.
They were headed for Zanzibar, having decided to cross the pirate-infested waters off the Somali coast despite concerns for their safety, when their boat was seized on April 4.
They were around 640 kilometres (400 miles) off Ras Hafun in northeast Somalia when they were captured.