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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Somali pirates demand ransom

THe Somali pirates apparently work cheap, as they only want 20,000 dollars ransom for their most recent capture:

Somali pirates who hijacked an Indian-flagged cargo ship as it was preparing to dock at Mogadishu port early this week are demanding a ransom of 20,000 U.S. dollars before releasing the freighter.

Kenya's maritime official said on Thursday the pirates reduced the ransom from 40,000 dollars earlier demanded for the release of MV Nimatullah, which was seized with 14-member crew while delivering 900 tons of cargo off the Somali coast.

"The vessel has been brought to coast off Haradheere, the well- known pirates' nest in central Somalia,"Andrew Mwangura, head of the Kenyan chapter of the Seafarers Assistance Program (SAP) said in a statement.
WFP (World Food Programme) and SAP are very concerned with this second hijacking of a vessel in Somali waters within six weeks, as vessel owners will become very reluctant to transport goods to Somali ports because of that,"said Mwangura.

"This will endanger the lifeline of food aid by ocean transport, as WFP plans to transport urgently needed food aid for some 850,000 vulnerable population especially the displaced and women and children, in impoverished and war-torn Somalia,"he said.

"Any disruption in this lifeline will cause immediately hunger among this target group. We appeal for the immediate safe return of the 12 crew members of the MV Rozen and the 14 crew of the MV Nimatullah."

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