French special forces have freed a French couple kidnapped earlier this month by pirates off the coast of Somalia, the office of President Nicolas Sarkozy announced.
A German naval ship is seen patrolling the Gulf of Aden
One pirate was killed and six others captured in the military operation, which was ordered by Sarkozy late Monday, according to the announcement issued on Tuesday, Sept. 16.
Jean-Yves and Bernadette Delanne, originally from Polynesia, were abducted on Sept. 2 in the Gulf of Aden as they were convoying a sailboat from Australia to France.
For their liberation, the pirates had demanded a ransom and the release of pirates captured in an earlier military operation to liberate hostages abducted in April.
After the couple's kidnapping and the recent attack by Somali pirates on a French tuna boat, the European Union decided on Monday to consider launching a naval operation in Somalia to protect European vessels.
EU ministers meeting in Brussels said they had approved "a strategic military option for a possible European Union naval operation."