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article imagePirates Seize French Yacht And Its Crew

By KJ Mullins     Apr 4, 2008 in Crime
Pirates seized a French luxury yacht on Friday in the Golf of Aden. There are thirty crew members aboard the yacht. The pirates stormed the Le Ponant as it was returning from the Seychelles.
At the time of the attack there were no passengers aboard the yacht.
"This is a blatant act of piracy," Prime Minister Francois Fillon told reporters while on a visit to Brussels. "The Defense and Foreign ministries are mobilized to act as quickly as possible, I hope in the coming minutes or hours to try to win the freedom of these hostages."
The area is heavily populated with the French military. A base in Djibouti and a naval flotilla are both in the area.
Some of the crew of the seized yacht are French. The yacht features two restaurants, four decks and both indoor and outdoor luxury lounges. It can carry up to 64 passengers. April 19th is the next scheduled trip with passengers is a 10 day, seven night trip from Alexandria, Egypt to Valletta, Malta.
The luxury cabins start are $3,465. That price does not include air fare or taxes.
In the past year pirates have taken over more than two dozen ships in the waters off Somalia's coast.
Denmark paid a ransom to these pirates in August to gain the release of a Danish cargo ship. That ship's crew were held for more than two months.
Several patrols have been led in the area by international groups to fight back the pirates in the area. Last year the USS Porter fired on a pirate skiff that had taken over a Japanese tanker.
The International Maritime Bureau has recorded a 10 percent increase of piracy in 2007.
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