French Ship Grabs 11 Pirates Off of Somalia

Navy intercepted two assault vessels and a 'mothership' today
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 3, 2009 10:48 AM CDT
Nivose, a French frigate serving in the international fleet trying to protect shipping in the Gulf of Aden, detained 11 pirates on April 22, 2009. Today's operation has caught 11 more.   (AP Photo/Sayyid Azim)
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(Newser) – A French naval vessel has intercepted 11 armed pirates off the coast of Somalia, according to a Defense Ministry spokesman, who says the pirates were traveling in two assault vessels and a so-called "mothership" loaded with provisions, Kalashnikovs, rockets, and rocket launchers. He says all 11 are Somali nationals.

The pirates were nabbed about 560 miles off the coast of Somalia early this morning, the spokesman told France-Info radio. He added that it was the ship's third successful pirate-grab in recent weeks; France-Info reported 24 pirates were detained in those operations.