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Greenpeace protest on French 'asbestos' warship

Two Greenpeace activists boarded the Clemenceau to protest its transfer to an Indian breakers' yard.

india Updated: Jan 12, 2006 20:27 IST

Two Greenpeace activists boarded the decommissioned French aircraft carrier Clemenceau on Thursday to protest its transfer to an Indian breakers' yard where environmentalists say workers will be at risk of asbestos poisoning.

The campaigners used a motorised dinghy to approach the ship, which is travelling towards the Suez Canal in international waters off the Egyptian coast, the French ministry of defence said.

"We let them board. In no way are they impeding the Clemenceau's journey," said a spokesman.

The Clemenceau, which took part in the 1991 Gulf War, was taken out of service in 1997 when it was superseded by France's new, nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the Charles de Gaulle.

It left the Mediterranean port of Toulon on December 31 after a long legal battle, and is due in India at the end of February.

First Published: Jan 12, 2006 17:36 IST