Florent Lemacon shot as navy storm hijacked boat

A French sailor was shot dead in front of his wife and child when commandos stormed his yacht in a bid to release the vessel and crew from pirates. The assault was triggered by threats that the crew would be executed.

Four hostages, including a three-year-old boy, were freed. Two pirates were killed and three others were taken prisoner. They are to be brought to France for criminal proceedings, joining 12 pirates already jailed and awaiting trial there.

It was the third time that the French have freed hostages from the hands of pirates but the first time a hostage had been killed.

The dead hostage was identified as Florent Lemacon, the owner of the boat, the Tanit, and father of the family.

Lemacon was killed in an exchange of fire as he tried to duck down the hatch.

The assault ? lasting three minutes ? came as piracy cases continued to play out in the region. Pirates threatened to kill an American cargo ship captain held hostage by four Somali pirates after he jumped in the water Friday in a desperate attempt to escape.