French naval forces overwhelmed pirates who had seized a private yacht in the Indian Ocean a week ago, but at the cost of the life of one of the hostages and two pirates, the government said on Friday.
The presidential office said the three other pirates involved in the capture of the yacht Tanis on April 4 had been captured.
President Nicolas Sarkozy expressed his condolences to the family of the hostage who had died. He stressed France's determination not to give in to blackmail and to keep the pirates in check.
The pirates had seized the Tanit off the coast of the Gulf of Aden. Two French couples and a child were on board the yacht.
According to the presidential office, the hostage who was killed in the rescue operation was one of the adults.
A French naval vessel had intercepted the Tanit on Thursday and taken up contact with the pirates. But the pirates rejected all the proposals made, with the navy then deciding to take action, Paris said.
The couples had been vacationing aboard the Tanit and, despite repeated warnings to stay clear of the waters off Somalia were sailing toward Zanzibar when the pirates captured them.