Pirates have reportedly moved the captive Danish family onto a ship off the Somali coast and have threatened to kill them if further attempts are made to free them.
The developments follow a botched rescue attempt by forces from Somalia’s semiautonomous northern region of Puntland last week. Five soldiers were killed in the attempt to rescue the Danish couple, their three children and two Danish crew members.
“We have moved the hostages onto a ship our friends are holding for security reasons,” said a pirate who gave his name as Hassan Abdullahi. “But our armed troops are on the shore to fight those trying to attack us. The hostages are healthy and safe now but suffering from homesickness.”
Abdullahi said they were only looking for “ransom” but those attacking them want “hostages’ deaths.”
Another pirate, Bile Hussein, warned the hostages will be killed if there are any more rescue attempts. “We know they are still in the process of trying to attack us again, but I am telling them that will cost the lives of the Danish people,” Hussein, a self-proclaimed pirate, told the media.
Experts believe that the decision to shift the captives out off shore is a direct reflection of the fact they feel the local authorities pose more threat than the international community. However it is also seen by many as a positive move, as being on a ship means that they can be monitored more easily and are in the “loop” of negotiation once again.