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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

They're back...Somali WFP ship pirates make new demands

Following up on this-Pirates said to renew ransom demands for UN food ship it says here:
Somali pirates who hijacked a UN-charted food aid ship in late June have renewed ransom demands for the release of the vessel and its crew, scuppering a deal for their freedom, clan elders in Somalia said Tuesday.

Amid conflicting accounts over whether the gunmen holding the freighter had agreed to unconditionally release the ship as announced by the World Food Programme (WFP) at the weekend, they said the hijackers remained in control of the vessel.

"The militiamen that took the ship will not release it unless two of their demands are met," said Ahmed Abdi, an elder in Somalia's Haradere district near where the MV Semlow was being held offshore.

"They want the food to be unloaded in Haradere or 500,000 dollars be paid as they demanded earlier," he told AFP by radio. "The hijackers offered no guarantee of release and further negotiations are required."

Original seizure report here

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