Couple rescued by French forces off Somalia

French commandos have freed two sailors seized by pirates off the Somali coast, the French presidency has said. One pirate was killed in the operation and another six captured.

The couple were seized from their Amel Super Maramu, Carre D’as IV, in the Gulf of Aden earlier this month by pirates who reportedly wanted a ransom of some $1.4m (£0.8m).

President Nicolas Sarkozy said the French operation should serve as a warning, and called for international efforts to counter escalating piracy. He said the 30-man operation had taken just 10 minutes. He had given the go-ahead late on Monday when it was clear that the pirates were heading for the lawless port of Eyl, where many well-armed pirate gangs are based.

He said it would have been too dangerous to free them if they arrived in Eyl, reports Reuters news agency.

“This operation is a warning to all those who indulge in this criminal activity,” Mr Sarkozy said at a press conference on Tuesday. “France will not allow crime to pay. I call on other countries to take their responsibilities as France has done twice.”

Full Story: BBC News