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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Somali Pirates: Hostage Tug of War

Trouble for the captured British yacht couple as Somali pirates fight Somali militia - reported here:
One faction of the gang holding the Chandlers, from Tunbridge Wells, Kent,
wanted to hand them over to local Islamists believed to be linked to radical
jihadists fighting Somalia’s Western-backed government.
Mr and Mrs Chandler, 59 and 55, were understood not to have been injured during Monday’s clashes.
They were hijacked at sea off the Seychelles ten days ago and transferred to
Somalia, where it is understood that they are being held on land close to the
town of Haradheere.
“We did not want the pirates to use our territory to
hold hostages or hand them over to another group,” Hussein Mohamed Kahiye, a
clan elder, told The Associated Press in Mogadishu.
He said fighters allied to his clan linked with a moderate Islamic militia to fight back against the pirates’ plan to transfer the Chandlers to another, more radical Islamist group.
There have been reports recently that the gang which is holding the couple
is splitting into different factions, each wanting to deal with the Chandlers
If they had been given to Islamist extremists, their plight
would have become political rather than simply commercial.

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