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Paris (AFP) Jan 20, 2014
A French navy ship intercepted a hijacked dhow off the coast of Oman, arresting five suspected pirates who had taken hostage an all-Indian crew, French defence officials said Monday.
The operation took place after an aborted pirate attack on an oil tanker in the area, the joint defence staff said in a statement.
The dhow's 11-member Indian crew were freed.
The dhow was suspected to have served as a rear base for the pirates, who launched a failed bid to take over the Nave Atropos, an oil tanker sailing under a flag from the Marshall Islands.
A Japanese naval patrol and forces from international fleets patrolling the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean also took part in Saturday's operation about 75 kilometres (45 miles) off Oman's coast, the statement said.
The dhow, named Shane Hind, had been hijacked several days earlier in the lawless waters off Somalia's coast.
The incident comes after a remarkable fall in piracy largely thanks to an international crackdown on Somali pirates.
The International Maritime Bureau said last week that sea piracy had fallen to its lowest level in six years around the world in 2013 largely due to a global operation against Somali pirates.
21st Century Pirates
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