A NATO spokeswoman says 11 suspected pirates have been captured after a foiled attack on French fishing ships in the Indian Ocean.

Jacqueline Sherriff of the maritime unit of NATO in Northwood, outside London, says the coast guard in the archipelago of Seychelles captured one boat with eight suspects on board. She says three men were discovered aboard another boat believed to be their mothership.

The Seychelles' coast guard is holding the 11.

Pirates attacked two fishing boats in the Indian Ocean on Saturday, but French soldiers protecting the trawlers returned fire and forced the assailants to flee. The Seychelles coast guard gave chase.

The nationality of the attackers was not known, but Somali pirates are active in the Indian Ocean.