The authorities in the northeastern Somali region of Punt land Tuesday welcomed and commended the French military action to free two of French nationals held hostage by local pirates in Somali waters, reports from the region said.
"We fully commend and welcome the French government for the good steps it took against the criminals," Ahmed Saeed Au Nur, regional minister for Fisheries and Ports, told reporters in Punt land. "We are also happy that the two hostages were safely rescued."
A 30-man French military commando carried out the operation on Monday where they overpowered the Somali pirates, leading to the death of one pirate and the capture of six others.
Au Nur said "The real solution for piracy in the region" is a military one, not paying huge ransoms which encourage further piracy activities in the Somali territorial waters, one of the most dangerous waterways around the world.
He denied that the regional authority have collaborated in the freeing operation for the two French nationals but added that his government fully supports the French action and will support any government which wants to free its ships or nationals.
The authorities in the region have long said that they are incapable of tackling piracy in their waters as the pirates who receive hefty ransom are better trained and well armed and equipped than the impoverished security forces.
Pirates have stepped up attacks on merchant vessels in the Gulf of Aden, as Somalia's current transitional government has failed to shackle the pirates in the key commercial shipping lane.