April 10th, 2009
01:47 PM ET

Hostage dies as French attack Somali pirates

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/africa/04/10/somalia.france/art.training.afp.gi.jpg caption="French commandos last year training for operations against pirates."]


A French hostage and two pirates died Friday in a rescue operation off Somalia's coastline, the French president's office in Paris said Friday.

Four hostages, including a child, were freed from the hijacked yacht after almost a week of captivity, Nicolas Sarkozy's office said.

The French military decided to move in when pirates refused their offers and increased threats against the hostages, it said.

The four adults and a child had been held aboard their yacht, the Tanit, since it was seized in the Gulf of Aden on Saturday, the president's statement said.

There has been a series of high-profile and increasingly sophisticated pirate attacks in recent months.

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Filed under: Pirates
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Mike in NYC

    What Luis did is called putting one's foot deeply in one's mouth.

    French-bashing is so last week, and it was idiotic even then.

    The US has botched its share of missions. Remember Iran, 1980?

    April 10, 2009 at 7:52 pm |
  2. Luis


    Are you kidding me?

    Have you seen the pictures of Nazi troops marching down Champs Elysees in Paris? Have you?

    Did you know our American troops had to bailout the French in World War II? Remember Normandy? Silly question, but for some people, WWII is like ancient history.

    French military is a joke.
    I don't think my comment is ignorant, it's the truth.
    The french military bailed out on France and Iraq.

    My BB gun has more more fire power than the french military.

    April 10, 2009 at 7:51 pm |
  3. SW

    I could get into a long drawn explaination of my feelings, but good for the the French. Sorry for the lost hostage.

    But if ransoms are continuosly paid? They're never going to stop.

    Solution: Mount a rocket launcher on every one of those cargo ships. Staffed with 1 qualified operator. Make it known that any, and I mean any, unidentifiable ship approaches.....sink 'em.

    If you had the means to protect yourself from a hostile force, would you? I bet you would. So let's just do it.

    April 10, 2009 at 7:24 pm |
  4. Sophia

    @Luis, what an ignorant comment. France itself hasn't been directly engaged in any real wars recently (I'm talking post-Cold War in modern-day warfare, not ridiculous "let's slash at each other with swords"), with the exception of multilateral actions taken in conjunction with NATO and the UN.

    Furthermore, if the French pulled out their military support from NATO and the UN and the EU (although aside from the EU's proposed defense capability I'm not sure how much military action the EU actually takes as a multilateral institution), a lot of countries would complain, including the US. It would also involve a huge additional commitment from US military personnel, so maybe you should think about that before you go making ridiculous statements about the state of the French military today.

    Just because the French have botched one recent rescue mission doesn't mean that they shouldn't be allowed to have a military. Besides which, read the article. Although it is sad that a hostage's life was lost, they did manage to rescue four hostages.

    April 10, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  5. Luis

    This is what happens when the French do want to fight.

    The french shouldn't be allowed to even say they have a military, yet alone have one. The French are pathetic.

    April 10, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  6. caroljoa@3rivers.net

    Its so sad

    April 10, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  7. Annie Kate

    It is terrible a hostage died in the French attack against the pirates but the French may have done the only thing that is left for all countries the pirates attack, and that may not even prove to be a deterrent. If the pirates have nothing to lose and everything to gain by taking hostages, etc. then the situation doesn't leave much to negotiate over. Hopefully, a plan of attack/negotiation is found that gets the hostages to safety that all nations can use.

    April 10, 2009 at 2:32 pm |