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Friday, April 11, 2008

Somalia: Pirates Release Yacht Hostages

Somali pirates release cruise yacht hostages, as reported here:
The 30 hostages held on a tourist yacht by pirates off the coast of Somalia have been released, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Friday.

A statement from Sarkozy's office said he had thanked the French army and other French agencies "that allowed a quick end" to the hostage-taking.

The statement did not elaborate on the role of the French military but said the release occurred "without incident."

Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said France would organize the hostages' return "as soon as possible" and was welcoming the "happy ending" to the standoff.
More info from here:
The foreign ministry said the crew, 22 of whom were French, would be repatriated as soon as possible.

The Philippine foreign ministry said some of the crew were Filipinos and that all were safe.

"They are still on the boat, but the plan is for them to sail to Djibouti and from there, they will be airlifted to Paris," Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Esteban Conejos told Reuters in Manila.

"We were told the French Navy was escorting the yacht to safety. We hope the Filipinos could be reunited with their families by next week."
More news is expected later in the day.

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