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The French navy on Wednesday captured 11 suspected pirates off the coast of Kenya, Franc'e mnistry of defense announced, while other pirates who had held a Greek vessel for nearly a month let it go.

The navy tracked the pirates overnight after they attacked a ship called the Safmarine Asia, then seized them at dawn Wednesday morning, the ministry said in a statement.

The Greek-flagged Titan cargo ship was carrying a load of iron to South Korea when pirates seized it. Twenty-four crew members were on board -- 17 Filipinos, three Greeks, three Romanians and a Ukrainian. They are in good health, said Tilemahos Gasteratos, spokesman for the Greek Merchant Marine Ministry.

The European Union, NATO and the United States have been patrolling the region since an upsurge in piracy off the coast of Somalia began last year.

U.S. snipers on Sunday killed three pirates holding hostage a U.S. merchant ship captain. Richard Phillips was held in a lifeboat for five days after his ship, the Maersk Alabama, was attacked last week. The freed Maersk crew members are expected to return to the United States on Wednesday evening. Read full article »

CNN's Pierre Meilhan, Christine Theodorou, Niki Cook, Mike Mount and Chuck Johnston contributed to this report.

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