Somali pirates, who
have been holding a Taiwanese fishing vessel since the middle of last month,
have reportedly killed one member of the crew.
A maritime official from neighbouring Kenya says the pirates killed the crewman
because the ship’s owners had failed to pay a ransom demand.
The Taiwanese trawler has been held by pirates for three weeks.
It was seized off the coast of Somalia and taken into inshore waters, where
no rule of law exists.
Kenyan Seafarers Assistance Programme head Andrew Mwangura said the pirates
had told him one of the crew had been killed because the ship’s owners had
failed to pay a ransom to get the vessel and its crew released.
There are reported to be have been 12 Chinese and two Taiwanese crew on board.
The nationality of the man who was killed is not known.
In the meantime another ship, a Danish freighter with a crew of five, is also
said to have been seized by pirates.
En route to the Kenyan port of Mombasa, it was last reported to have altered
course towards the Somali capital, Mogadishu.
Somalia’s waters are reported to be among the most dangerous in the world.
Islamists cracked down on the pirates last year but they were removed from
power in the capital, Mogadishu, last December.