The French Navy stormed a French sailboat being held by pirates in the Gulf of Aden, off the coast of Somalia, killing one hostage and two pirates in the operation, a presidential statement said Friday.
The navy also freed four remaining hostages, including one child, who were seized Saturday when pirates boarded their ship, the Tanit. Three other pirates were taken prisoner.
It was not immediately clear where the rescue operation occurred. It did not appear to be in any proximity to the current standoff involving an American captain being held hostage.
It was the third time the French have freed hostages from the hands of pirates but the first time that a hostage had been killed. The French presidential statement said the boat was being steered toward the Somali coast.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy's office said the death of one of five hostages came at the end of a two-day ordeal in the pirate-infested waters where the seizure of vessels by Somali pirates has become a common occurrence.
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