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World Briefing / Somalia

French patrol saves two ships, detains 19 pirates

January 05, 2009|TIMES WIRE REPORTS

A French warship captured 19 Somali pirates when it came to the rescue of two cargo ships threatened in the Gulf of Aden, the office of President Nicolas Sarkozy said.

The Jean de Vienne was patrolling as part of a European Union anti-piracy force when it came to aid a Croatian cargo vessel and a Panamanian ship. The 19 pirates were handed over to Somali authorities.

The incident came three days after another French vessel captured eight Somali pirates who had attacked a Panamanian- registered vessel.

Meanwhile, two foreign journalists -- a Briton and a Spaniard -- who had been working on a piracy story were released in good health nearly six weeks after they were kidnapped. Reporter Colin Freeman, 39, of the Sunday Telegraph and freelance photographer Jose Cendon, 34, were abducted Nov. 26. Telegraph Media Group would not say whether a ransom had been paid.

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