Somali pirates seize Egyptian boat for ransom

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Flag of Egypt

An Egyptian boat and crew are being held off the coast of Somalia’s Puntland by Somali pirates, Egyptian officials reported late Monday. They said there were 25 crew members on board the boat at the time of seizure. Junior Foreign Affairs Minister Ahmed Rizk told journalists here that the culprits “have demanded a sum of money before they will free the boat and the sailors. ” He declined to specify the exact amount demanded by the pirates, but indicated that there were hopes the captives could be freed soon. Rizk said “there is some optimism the crisis could come to an end soon as the owner of the vessel has remained in contact with the crew who are in “a reassuring state”. Egypt’s Foreign Minister, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, has called on the Somali Ambassador to Egypt to end his vacation and help broker the crisis.

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