French Navy Seizes ‘Hundreds Of Weapons’ Meant For Terrorists | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe

Latest News, News

French Navy Seizes ‘Hundreds Of Weapons’ Meant For Terrorists

weapons haul
Posted: Mar 30, 2016 at 12:59 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)


French authorities disclosed on Wednesday that the Navy and Marines confiscated a huge stockpile of illegal weapons in the Indian Ocean from a boat believed to be travelling to Somalia.

The boat was first spotted by a French Navy helicopter on a routine surveillance mission around March 20, 2016. The crew alerted the FS Provence frigate and the boat was arrested and boarded by French marines.

On the vessel were hundreds of AK-47 assault rifles and anti-tank artillery among other weapons. Although it is still not certain where the boat originated, it is believed that the weapons were on their way to Islamist fighters in Somalia.

Prominent among the Islamist groups in the Horn of Africa is the Al Shabaab terror group, which is fighting to Islamise Somalia and has spread it tentacles to nearby Kenya, with hundreds of dead in its wake over the past few years.

Somalia is also a hotbed of piracy in the Indian Ocean, as armed groups have been known to hijack vessels at will, until the intervention of such international units as the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), a multinational force operating in the Indian Ocean and the waters around Africa and the Middle East

“France has been supporting Combined Maritime Forces operations since their inception. This seizure is another French contribution to the stabilisation of the region,” said a CMF spokesperson on Wednesday.

The weapons have been seized under a United Nations arms embargo.