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French Warship Releases 11 Indian Sailors From Pirate Custody

Published: 22nd January 2014 08:20 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd January 2014 08:20 PM   |  A+A-

By PTI

A French warship along with Japanese aircraft last week helped in releasing 11 Indian crew members from the custody of Somalian sea pirates from a dhow that was suspected to have been used as pirate mother-ship in the Gulf of Aden.

According to a European Union release, the EU forces deployed in counter piracy operations received a distress call from an oil tanker for being under attack from pirates and a Japanese maritime patrol aircraft along with French LPD FS Siroco were sent to help it.

"The attack (of pirates in a skiff) was repelled by a private armed security team embarked on board the oil tanker.

The skiff then headed to a dhow which lingered nearby," it said.

The FS Siroco was then able to close distance to the dhow and launch their helicopter and boarding team and they observed that people on board the dhow were throwing equipment over board, deepening the suspicion that the dhow was indeed the reported pirate mother-ship.

"Once the Siroco's team boarded the dhow, 5 Somali suspect pirates surrendered and were separated from the dhow's crew and transferred to FS Siroco for further investigation...The master's initial statement supported suspicion that his dhow has been pirated and his crew taken hostage several days ago off the coast of Somalia," it said.

The master also stated that the suspect pirates were responsible for the attack on the oil tanker the day before.

Complimenting the French Navy for its efforts, the EU NAVFOR Force Commander Rear Admiral Herv? Bl?jean said,"Thanks to an exceptionally effective international cooperation, we showed once more that there will be no safe haven for piracy in the area as long as Counter Piracy Forces remain fully dedicated to their task."



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