April 7, 2009 / 5:29 PM / 11 years ago

France says yacht captured off Somalia located

PARIS (Reuters) - A French yacht that was captured by pirates off Somalia over the weekend has been located, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said on Tuesday, without giving details of any rescue efforts.

The sailing boat, the Tanit, which was carrying two couples and a 3-year-old child was taken far from the coastline of the African country, Kouchner told RTL radio.

“Yes, they have been located. This has been the case since yesterday,” he said.

Hijackings of vessels off Somalia this year have jumped, with the seizure of a handful of boats in recent days.

A Taiwan-registered deep sea fishing boat operating in the Indian Ocean near the Seychelles was hijacked on Monday and nothing more had been heard from the crew of 30, the Taiwan Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

A British vessel named as the Malaspina Castle had separately been reported as taken on Monday.

Over the weekend, besides the French yacht, pirates captured a Yemeni tug and the Hansa Stavanger, a 20,000-tonne German container vessel, despite the presence of foreign warships that have been sent to the region to deter the pirates.

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