September 4, 2008
Somali pirates add Egyptian ship to hostage fleet
Reuters is reporting that Somali pirates have seized yet another vessel, identified only as an Egyptian ship.
The Reuters report quotes an official of the Puntland region as saying it is being taken to Eyl, the former fishing village that is now apparently the pirate's shore base, along with the French yacht Carré d'As that was seized earlier this week.
Meantime GaroweOnline.com (the online service of Puntland's Radio Garowe) says that Puntland Government officials have visited Eyl to have talks with the pirates.
Hassan "Allore" Osman, Puntland's minerals minister, led a government delegation to Eyl that included deputy police commissioner Mohamed Haji Aden;
Eyl Deputy Mayor Ali "Irro" Farah told Radio Garowe that the government officials "plan to meet" with the pirates in order to avoid a violent confrontation.
The Deputy Mayor dismissed rumors that Minister Allore had already met with the pirates, but confirmed that a committee had been established to hold direct talks with the pirates regarding the release of the ships, which now number around ten.
Locals in Eyl say they are unable to defend their town from the heavily-armed pirates, while the Puntland administration is accused of having links to piracy, reports Radio Garowe.
GaroweOnline has an interesting background story on Eyl that you can access HERE.