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French Navy Repels Somali Pirate Attack

By VOA News
07 October 2009

France says its navy has captured five Somali pirates who attacked a French naval vessel, after apparently mistaking it for a commercial boat.

Military spokesman Christophe Prazuck says pirates on speedboats attacked the La Somme, a refueling ship, off the Somali coast early Wednesday.

He says crew members repelled the attack and then chased the pirates, seizing one boat and taking five men into custody.

French officials say no one was injured in the incident.

France is a key member of Operation Atlanta, the European Union's anti-piracy operation in the Gulf of Aden.

Somali pirates have made tens of millions of dollars over the past two years hijacking ships and holding them for ransom. The number of hijackings has dropped in recent months as foreign navies patrol the coast and provide protection to commercial vessels.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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