PARIS, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- A French warship foiled two attacks Sunday by Somali pirates, rescuing two commercial vessels in the Gulf of Aden, the French president's office said.
Patrolling off the Somali coast, the French warship "Jean de Vienne" captured 19 Somali pirates when they tried to seize a Croatian freighter and a Panamanian cargo ship. They will be transferred to Somali authorities, said the French president's office in a statement.
Just three days ago, an operation conducted by another French warship saved a Panamanian ship attacked by Somali pirates and captured eight people.
Somalia, one of the world's busiest shipping areas, has become a global hotspot for piracy in recent years. More than 100 attacks by Somali pirates in the waterway were recorded in 2008 alone.
The European Union has set up an anti-piracy naval operation to protect commercial vessels passing through the Gulf of Aden. Other countries, such as India, Iran, the United States and China also sent forces to the area.