Not only are Somali pirates the scourge of international shipping. It appears they also have enemies closer to home.
A group of suspects has been seized by authorities in the Horn of Africa nation, which maintains it is trying to put a stop to the illegal trade.
“Sool is a stronghold for pirates,” said Mohamed Sa’id Nor, Mayor of the Sool region.
“They are increasing by the day. We need to eradicate them because they are like a disease.”
Elsewhere in Somalia, it seems pirates are also coming under pressure, with Islamist insurgents furious at a Saudi supertanker being seized.
“We cannot tolerate Somali pirates who have started hijacking Muslim ships travelling in and out of our waters,” said one fighter.
“They are defaming our dignity. We will fight them, God willing.”
Islamists have reportedly stormed the port of Haradheere in search of the pirates said to have anchored the Sirius Star nearby. For now, the Saudi ship, its massive oil cargo and 25-man crew remain in pirate hands.
Hijacking off Somalia appears highly lucrative. Kenya’s foreign minister says pirates have been paid around 120 million euros in ransoms over the past year.