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France detains 11 armed pirates off Somalia
Updated: 2009-05-03 21:38

PARIS -- A French Defense Ministry spokesman says a French naval vessel has intercepted 11 armed pirates off the coast of Somalia.

Spokesman Cristophe Prazuck says the alleged pirates were traveling in two assault vessels and a so-called "mothership" loaded with provisions and Kalashnikovs, rockets and rocket launchers when French officials detained them. He says all ll are Somali nationals.

The were intercepted about 900 kilometers (560 miles) off the coast of Somalia.

Prazuck was speaking Sunday on France-Info radio, and the station said the incident happened early Sunday morning.

Prazuck said it was the French ship's third intervention to nab pirates in the past weeks. France-Info reported 24 alleged pirates were detained in the operations.