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Pirates capture Seychelles fishermen

07 November 2011, 16:52

Victoria - Somali pirates are holding two Seychelles sailors aboard a fishing boat that was captured 65 miles west of Mahe last week, a government minister said.

Home Affairs, Environment, Transport and Energy Minister Joel Morgan said on Saturday no demand had been made by the Somali captors, whose possession of the boat, the Aride, was confirmed through pictures sent to Mahe from a Spanish surveillance plane.

The boat was seen anchored at the Somali port of Hobyo, surprising officials in Victoria because the pirates have been hitherto targeting bigger vessels.

A Seychelles negotiating team was ready to begin talks with the captors, who were yet to make contact with Seychelles by Sunday night, Morgan said.

Morgan, who heads the High Level Committee on Piracy, said it was too early to release names of the Seychellois hostages "as the government and the family members have not yet agreed to do so yet".

He added that a crew of a Taiwanese boat that had been seized by pirates on Thursday was expected in Victoria on Tuesday after they overcame the pirates.

Seychelles sent an armed vessel to help the Taiwanese ship's crew after the incident.

- Reuters

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