The 30 crewmembers of the 288-ft French luxury yacht Le Ponant, taken hostage on April 4 by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden, were released Friday after the yacht’s owners paid a $2 million ransom. The French government reports that the hostages were treated well and none were injured during their week-long ordeal.
Several of the estimated 12 pirates tried to make a getaway on land but French commandos in a Gazelle helo swooped down, "disabling" their vehicle with gunfire. Six pirates were arrested. While Somali government officials claim at least three people were killed by gunfire with several more injured, the French government claims no pirates were killed.
The incident has spurred French diplomats into proposing a plan to the UN that will step up international patrols in piracy hotspots such as the Gulf of Aden and the Straits of Malacca.