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24 September 2017 10:28 (South Africa)

Somali pirates demand $4 million for Spanish trawler

Breaking what seemed a welcome lull in piracy off the coast of Somalia, latter-day buccaneers are demanding $4 million and the release of two colleagues in exchange for freeing a Spanish trawler. Some 150 vessels have been attacked so far this year, according to US navy figures, with 29 ships seized and four vessels still being held for ransom. But the pirates have been making so much money of late that they have become careless, expressing disbelief when a French warship fired on them recently. This time they say the Spanish trawler was exploiting their fishing grounds, which, if it weren’t for the fact that they are pirates and demanding ransom, would sound like pretty reasonable grounds for most countries to take naval action.

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