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11 April 2009

French free sailboat from pirates, 1 hostage dies


from Associated Press by PIERRE-YVES ROGER

Navy commandos stormed a French sailboat held by pirates off the Somali coast Friday in an assault triggered by threats the passengers would be executed. But one hostage was killed in the operation, demonstrating the risks of a military operation against sea bandits.

Four hostages, including a small child, were freed, French Defense Minister Herve Morin said. Two pirates also 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 here.

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