Thursday, April 16, 2009
The French navy detained 11 Somali pirates yesterday who tried to seize a Liberian-flagged merchant ship. The French frigate Nivose captured the pirates’ mothership, which was carrying two small assault boats, some 900km east of the Kenyan port of Mombasa, the French Defence Ministry said.
FS Nivôse (F 732)The Nivose, deployed to prevent attacks in the gangs’ widening hunting grounds off the coast of Somalia and neighbouring Kenya, tracked the pirates after its helicopter thwarted an attack on the Liberian-flagged Safmarine Asia. Meanwhile, Somali pirates attacked an American freighter with rockets to “destroy” the ship in revenge for an operation that freed a US captain last weekend, one of their commanders said yesterday. The freighter escaped the attack.