(AFP) – Apr 20, 2008
MOGADISHU (AFP) — Somali Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein on Sunday praised the French raid against pirates who had held a luxury yacht crew for a week and asked for more international help to combat pirates.
"The French forces arrested six Somali pirates and took them to France to face justice. We encourage such steps by the French. The Somali government asks the international community to take action against piracy," he told reporters.
On April 11, Somali pirates released the 30-strong crew of French yacht Le Ponant after holding the group hostage for a week off the coast of Somalia. The French military pursued some of the suspected pirates and captured six.
The pirates are now in France and were charged Friday by a Paris court.
Local elders in Somalia said three herdsmen were killed in the French operation to capture the suspects and have demanded compensation.
The French operation on Somali soil was conducted with the prior approval of the Somali transitional government, which claims it does not have the means to effectively clean up its pirate-infested waters.
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