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A pirate group dismantled by the De Grasse

The sailors boarded the skiffs (Credit: Eunavfor / De Grasse / French Navy)

French sailors from De Grasse, the flagship of the European anti-piracy fleet Eunavfor Atalanta, intercepted a pirate action group along the Somali coast in the early hours of October 20.

The De Grasse was carrying out a patrol on the Somali coast, coming up from Tanzania, where it has just made a notable stop (with the benefit of protocol and operational visits from the Tanzanian navy). Having spotted suspicious vessels, the De Grasse helicopter was sent to the scene. The warning shots were enough to stop the pirates on the skiffs, who were then picked up by one of the French ship's boarding boats. The helicopter then spotted the whaler – which served as a mother ship – and stopped using the same methods. Faithful to “tradition”, the pirates tossed aside weapons and other paraphernalia.

A total of 12 suspects were thus intercepted. “In the absence of flagrante delicto, it was not possible to initiate proceedings”, we specify at Atalanta HQ. The whaler was destroyed. And the pirates, disarmed, asked to reach the Somali coast, aboard skiffs.

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).