The French Navy detained 11 suspected pirates in a raid off the coast of Kenya Wednesday, the French Ministry of Defense announced.

The French forces launched their attack early morning after observing the pirates overnight. The 11 captured pirates are being held on board a French frigate, the Nivose, part of a European Union antipiracy task force patrolling in the area, the French defense ministry said in a statement.

The raid thwarted the pirates planned attack on a Liberian-registered vessel, the Safmarine Asia

, the ministry said. The ship was intercepted 550 miles east of the Kenya city of Mombasa.

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

The pirates seized four vessels and more than 75 hostages since Sunday's dramatic rescue of an American freighter captain and the total number of captives being held by Somali pirates surged to over 300 on 16 different ships over the last few days.

Kenya government estimates that the Pirates raked in $150 million last year.