Le Ponant was seized by pirates off Somalia last Friday
French helicopters have launched an operation against pirates in northeastern Somalia, capturing at least six people and killing three.
“I can confirm that three bodies were found and collected. Eight others were wounded while eight others were taken by the French,” Dahir Abdul Kadir Ahmed, the governor of Mudug region told AFP.
He said the raid occurred in Jariban village, nearly 25 kilometers (15 miles) from Garaad hamlet, where the French luxury yacht, Le Ponant, was held by pirates for a week.
President Nicolas Sarkozy earlier announced that the hostages, including 22 French sailors, six Filipinos, a Ukrainian and a Cameroonian, had been freed in an operation that took place ‘without incident’.
Armed forces chief of staff General Jean-Louis Georgelin said half of the hostage takers were arrested about one hour after they had released the crew.
Detained pirates boarded a French navy ship where they were being held on Friday, said a statement from Sarkozy’s office.
The 32-cabin Le Ponant, owned by French charter company CMA-CGM, was bound for the Mediterranean from the Seychelles when pirates captured the vessel last Friday.