Pirates who have held a UN-chartered ship and its crew hostage for nearly three months have captured a second vessel carrying cement from Egypt, days after the collapse of efforts to release the first merchant ship and its load of food aid.
The pirates hijacked the second vessel while it was sailing from El Maan, a port north of Somalia's capital of Mogadishu.
Local authorities expelled the Somali hijackers from the port on Thursday after they raised fresh ransom demands and refused to meet the deadline to release the ship, its crew and cargo.
"The hijackers contacted us only this morning, telling us that the ship ... was under their control," said Abdi Rahman Kariin Olow, a Mogadishu-based businessman who owns part of the cement shipment.
"The hijackers let us speak with the captain of the vessel who also confirmed they had been taken hostages," he said.
Sunday, September 25, 2005
The Somali pirates who have been holding a World Food Program ship have added to their inventory by seizing a cement ship as reported here: