Somali Pirates free the hostages of the Le Ponant
According to France officials, the France and Philippine crew, which was held on the France yacht Le Ponant (Somali pirates snatch luxury cruise yacht), has been freed. Hijacked in the Gulf of Aden, the pirates had sailed the yacht south alongside Somali coast and finally moored it at Garaad, near the town of Eyl some 300 miles north of Mogadishu. Sources stated that the owner of the Le Ponant paid an undisclosed sum as ransom to the pirates.
According to French officials, French special forces attacked the retreating pirates, capturing 6 of the original 10 pirates and recovering some of the ransom payment. The hostages were taken to a French warship and will be transfered to a French military base in Djibouti before being flown to France.
During the hostage crisis French military assets constantly surveyed the yacht by plane (based in Djibouti) and held a French frigate (diverted from its Nato duties) nearby.