Thursday, October 08, 2009
Somali pirates attempted to storm the French Navy’s 18,000 tonne Indian Ocean fleet flagship after mistaking it for a cargo vessel, the military said on Wednesday. The crew of ‘La Somme’, a 525-foot command vessel and fuel tanker, easily saw off the brazen night-time assault by lightly armed fighters on two open-topped motorboats and captured five pirates, a spokesman said.
La Somme“The pirates, who because of the darkness took the French ship for a commercial vessel, were on board two vessels and opened fire with Kalashnikovs,” Admiral Christophe Prazuck said. ‘La Somme’ is overseeing French air, sea and land forces fighting Somali pirates and hunting terrorists under the banner of the US-led Operation Enduring Freedom. The pirates tried to flee when they realised their mistake but were pursued and held after an hour-long chase.