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After siege by Somali pirates, French ship returns to port

Latest update : 2008-09-15

A French fishing boat was attacked in the Indian Ocean by Somali pirates who fired two rockets at the boat. No one was harmed in the attack, and the boat has suspended fishing near the Somali coast.

Somali pirates have tried to board a French tuna fishing boat off the Seychelles but failed due to a heavy swell, France-Info radio reported Sunday.

After failing to board the Drennec, the pirates in a speedboat fired two rockets at the fishing boat without claiming any victims or causing major damage, the radio said.

The captain of the tuna boat, in a telephone interview with the radio station, said that he like most other French and Spanish skippers fishing in the area had decided to return to port in the Seychelles pending naval protection.

Somalia, a poor Horn of Africa country riven by civil war and without a functioning central government since 1991, has become a focal point for world piracy over the past few months.

Many attacks take place along Somalia's 3,700 kilometres (2,300 miles) of largely unpatrolled coast infested by pirates, who operate high-powered speedboats and carry heavy machine guns and rocket launchers.

In June, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution authorising foreign warships to enter Somalia's territorial waters with the government's consent to combat pirates and armed robbery at sea, but it is yet to be implemented.

In recent months, a multinational taskforce based in Djibouti has been patrolling parts of the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea, where a pirate mothership is believed to be operating.

Date created : 2008-09-14