28/10/08 (B471) Press TV . Les pirates qui ont arraisonné le Faina donnent un ultimatum de 24 heures pour payer la raison, sinon ils menacent d’exécuter l’équipage et de faire sauter le navire // ’24-hr deadline hanging over Faina crew’ (En Anglais – Info lecteur)

Somali radio reportedly said pirates have theratened to kill Faina’s crew if the ransom money was not provided within 24 hours.

Lives of the people on board MV Faina, the pirated Ukrainian ship, reportedly depends on provision of a multi-million ransom within 24 hours.

Somali pirates, who seized the vessel on September 25, said they would kill the vessel’s 20 crewmembers if they did not receive the ransom money within the next day, ITAR-TASS reported quoting contents of the broadcast on the Somali radio.

The alleged ultimatum follows the bandits’ previous threats that they would destroy the ship if the patrolling vessels in the area failed to respect their wishes.

NATO and European nations have put seven frigates on duty.

The predicament has been drawing international attention to itself especially after the reported disclosure of Faina’s cargoes. The ship was said to be carrying loads of military hardware including T-72 tanks, anti-aircraft missiles and automatic weapons to Kenya.

Earlier in the month, the Press TV correspondent in Somalia quoted the pirates’ spokesman Sugule Ali as saying the ship was originally destined for Sudan using the Kenyan port city of Mombasa as a stopover. Sudan’s Christian opposition groups were meant to receive the on-board armament and use it against the Muslim majority, Ali added.

The captives, 17 Ukrainians, two Russians and one Latvian, also face the threat of starvation, said the Ukrainian parliament’s human rights ombudsman Nina Karpacheva.

On October 1, RIA Novosti quoted the ombudsman, as saying that Faina’s real owner was an Israeli citizen, Vadim Alperin suggesting the existence of an Israeli hand in the vicious equation which has crippled the naval transportation off Africa.

09/09/08 (B464-B) Press – TV / Trois étudiants tués et 21 blessés dans une école islamique, lors d’une attaque par des soldats. Three killed in Somali Islamic school (En Anglais – Info lecteur)

Three students were killed and 21 seriously injured at an Islamic religious school in Somalia which was targeted by government forces.

The students were studying the Holy Qur’an on the seventh day of the Holy Month of Ramadan, when Somali government soldiers carrying AK-47 assault rifles opened fire at them.

According to the Press TV correspondent in Somalia, the soldiers attacked because they believed the school to be a center for the study of terrorism.

In another developmnet, in a northern part of the capital Mogadishu, heavy gunfire erupted between the Union of Islamic Courts fighters and Transitional Federal Government forces aided by the Ethiopian soldiers.

The extent of damage inflicted is not known at this time but our correspondent reports that fighting is ongoing in the area, particularly around the Ethiopian held Pasta military base.

The UIC controlled most of southern Somalia and the vast majority of the population (most of whom are Muslims) until the end of 2006. It was then overthrown by the transitional government forces, bolstered by US-backed Ethiopian troops. Since that time, perpetual conflict has made the country the most unstable in the world.