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French luxury yacht hijacked by "pirates" arrives in northern Somalia

Issue 324
Front Page

Enough Support In Both Houses Of Parliament For Bill Banning Ahmedou Abdallah From Entering Somaliland

Norwegian Firm TGS Spent $10 Million On Geophysical Surveys In Somaliland Says Minerals Ministry Official

KULMIYE’s II Conference Succeeds

Fuad A. Adde Sacked For Accusing Riyale Of Mismanaging Donations For Sool

Somaliland Local Government Re-organisation through Presidential Decrees in an Election Year

Norway To Withdraw From International Contact Group On Somalia

Ethiopian factor surfaces in Puntland oil dispute

Two Somaliland-Born Prisoners In Guantanamo Search For New Home

Politics of one belly

Divide Widens Between Insurgent Groups In Somalia

There can be another Zimbabwe without Bob

No Ethiopian soldiers in Puntland, says leader

Regional Affairs

Somaliland’s Opposition Leader Warns Against Any Delay Of Presidential Elections

Vice-President Ahmed Yusuf and delegation visit Las Anod

France Working to Save Yacht Crew

Special Report

International News

US Marks 40th Anniversary of King Assassination

Pedestrian forced at gunpoint to join bogus-cheque scam, court hears

Blaze death: Dead man became father just two weeks ago

Validating foreign policy folly


My 47-day ordeal at the hands of Somali pirates, by British captain held for ransom

Somaliland: Past, Present And Future


Search for Khouri smoking gun is on

Socotra is precious, humanity-central Island, says study

A Generation Of Career Women

Founder member Henry Allingham on the RAF at 90

Somalia Called 'World's Most Neglected Crisis'

Food for thought


A Message to KULMIYE 2nd Convention: Hargeysa Somaliland

She Is A Surviving Veteran

Somaliland American Council Criticizes Report By UN Official

Welcome in Lascanood, Mr Vice President

Speech By Jenny Sonesson Secretary-General Liberal Women Of Sweden At The Opening Of The KULMIYE Party’s Conference

Somalia: The Need for a Popular Culture

Mohamed Bangah, information minister for the semiautonomous northern region of Puntland, said he hoped international forces will "rescue this ship" at Eyl

MOGADISHU, Somalia, 6 April 2008 - A French luxury yacht seized by suspected pirates in the Gulf of Aden with 30 crew members on board has arrived in northern Somalia, officials and fishermen said Sunday.

About 10 suspected pirates had stormed the 88-metre Le Ponant on Friday as it was returning, without passengers, from the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean. The pirates then guided the vessel down Somalia's eastern coast.

Local fisherman Mahdi Daud Anbuure told The Associated Press that he saw the ship arriving at the northern town of Eyl, with a small boat heading toward it, apparently with supplies.

France's prime minister said Saturday that he hoped to avoid using force to free the crew but no options had been ruled out. There are 22 French citizens, including six women, on board, as well as Ukrainian citizens, authorities said.

A French frigate, Le Commandant Bouan, temporarily was diverted from NATO duties and is tracking the yacht, French military spokesman Cmdr. Christophe Prazuck said Saturday. He said an airplane dispatched from a French base in Djibouti flew over the yacht, reporting that all appeared calm aboard the ship.

Fishermen reported seeing heavily armed pirates heading out from the area nine days ago, district commissioner Hareed Iise Umar said.

Abdirahman Mohamed Bangah, information minister for the semiautonomous northern region of Puntland, said he hoped international forces will "rescue this ship" at Eyl, about 500 kilometres north of the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

More than two dozen ships have been seized by pirates off Somalia's coast in the last year.

In August, Denmark's government paid a ransom to win the release of the crew of a Danish cargo ship hijacked by pirates and held captive for about two months.

The U.S. Navy has led international patrols to try to combat piracy in the region. Last year, the guided missile destroyer USS Porter opened fire to destroy pirate skiffs tied to a Japanese tanker.

But an increase in naval patrols has coincided with a rash of kidnappings of foreigners on land.

Two police officers were killed and another was wounded late Saturday during the attempted kidnapping of a German aid worker, Bangah said. Four people were arrested.

Somalia - wracked by more than a decade of violence and anarchy - does not have its own navy, its armed forces are poorly paid and the transitional government formed in 2004 with UN help has struggled to assert control.

Two UN contractors currently are being held hostage in the south, and several aid workers and a French journalist have been seized in the past few months.

The International Maritime Bureau, which tracks piracy, said in its annual report earlier this year that global pirate attacks rose 10 per cent in 2007, marking the first increase in three years.

Associated Press writers Mohamed Olad Hassan in Mogadishu, Somalia, and Pierre-Yves Roger in Paris contributed to this report.

Source: AP

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