Threat to harm kidnapped family

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A SOMALI pirate has warned that a kidnapped Danish family will be harmed if any more rescue attempts are made.

The warning yesterday follows a botched bid to rescue the seven hostages by government forces from the Somali region of Puntland.

Bile Hussein says pirates believe that security forces will make another attempt but if they do the hostages will be killed.

The raid by the security forces on Thursday went wrong when the would-be rescuers walked into an ambush. Armed forces tried to surround the village of Hul Anod to free the family but were beaten back. Five members of the security forces and two pirates died in the exchange.

Two crew members, and the family of five, including three children aged 12 to 16, were kidnapped when their Danish yacht was hijacked in the Indian Ocean on February 24 as they continued a round the world cruise that was due to end this year.

It is understood they were complying with guidelines and advice on issuing daily updates on their location as they moved through the region most targeted by Somali pirates and issued a distress signal as the sailing boat came under attack.

Last month, four Americans were killed after pirates captured their 58ft yacht in the Indian Ocean.