A Belgian ship with ten crew members has become the latest vessel to be seized by pirates off Somalia. The Pompei was reportedly heading for a pirates’ stronghold on the Somali coast after being hijacked.
Sea gangs have captured dozens of ships and taken hundreds of sailors prisoner. In some cases huge sums have been paid in ransom. The unprecedented deployment of international naval forces in the area has only been partially successful. Earlier on Saturday Dutch commandos managed to free 20 Yemenis being held on a fishing boat. They also arrested seven pirates but had to let them go because they had no legal grounds to hold them. The Somali government plans to present proposals on tackling the crisis at a donors’ conference starting in Brussels on Wednesday.