Monday, May 3, 2010

Somali Pirates Move Hijacked Ships After Insurgents Seize Town

Via VOA News -

Somali pirates have moved three hijacked ships from the port of Harardheere, which was seized by Islamist militants on Sunday.

Witnesses say pirates sent the three ships farther out to sea as fighters from the insurgent group Hizbul Islam stormed into Harardheere, prompting pirates there to flee.

The destination of the ships is not known but many of the pirates have fled to another pirate stronghold, Hobyo, farther north on Somalia's eastern coast.

A spokesman for Hizbul Islam, Abdinasir Mohamed Afdhuub, says the group seized Harardheere to impose Islamic law.

However, pirates from the area say Hizbul Islam had demanded a cut of the pirates multi-million dollar business – hijacking ships for ransom.


Hizbul Islam and the insurgent group al-Shabab have been fighting the fragile Somali government for three years. The groups control large parts of southern and central Somalia and portions of the capital, Mogadishu.

Both have moved to enforce a harsh form of sharia, or Islamic law, in the areas under their control.

The groups were once allies but fell out last year in a dispute over another port town, Kismayo.

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