France has sent a special forces task force to Africa ahead of a possible confrontation with pirates who have seized a luxury yacht.
A team of the GIGN, a commando force that conducts anti-terrorist and hostage rescue operations, was being sent to Djibouti.
The elite unit specialises in freeing hostages and will be stationed at Djibouti until further orders, a defence source said.
Around 10 pirates stormed the French-owned ship as it sailed with only crew onboard from the Seychelles, in the Indian Ocean, toward the Mediterranean Sea on Friday.
"We had confirmation that the crew was safe and sound and well-treated," a spokesperson said.
"Our priority is the safety of the hostages," she said.
An official in Somalia's semiautonomous Puntland region, where the yacht is being held, urged the "US Navy and other Western marine forces" to take over the yacht by force.
The pirates had attempted to come ashore on Sunday. However residents said gunmen working for the local authorities made it clear they were not welcome.
"The pirates opened fire, killing two men after local fighters told them to go away," Mohamed Ibrahim, a radio operator, said.
Musa Ghelle Yusuf, the local governor in Somalia's breakaway northern region of Puntland, said he would be "happy...to see the pirates killed."
Guelleh said: "These pirates are terrorists and there is no need to negotiate with them. Attacking them will solve future piracy plans."
The yacht, Le Ponant, includes 30 crew members and lays anchored off Puntland, which has proclaimed autonomy from the rest of the country.