Somali pirates demand US$25 million for Saudi tanker
Somali pirates who hijacked a Saudi oil super-tanker demanded a 25 million dollar ransom Thursday. "We are demanding 25 million dollars from the Saudi owners of the tanker. We do not want long-term discussions to resolve the matter," a pirate who identified himself as Mohamed Said said from the ship.
"The Saudis have 10 days to comply, otherwise we will take action that could be disastrous," Said told AFP from the ship now anchored at the Somali pirate lair of Harardhere. Seized at the weekend in the Indian Ocean some 800 kilometres off the coast of Kenya, the Sirius Star tanker was loaded to capacity with two million barrels of oil and the biggest vessel to be seized by pirates so far.
After the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) described the situation as "out of control," Arab Red Sea states meeting in Cairo Thursday vowed cooperation to end the threat -- but offered few specifics. Russia announced it would send more warships to combat piracy in the treacherous waters.
Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky, the top commander of the Russian navy, said: "After the Neustrashimy (Fearless), ships from other fleets of the Russian navy will head to the region," referring to a frigate sent to the area in September.