BOSASSO — A pirate spokesman, who wished to remain anonymous, contacted Somalilandpress today said at least ten of his men were executed by the Russian navy after the troopers stormed MV Moscow University.

“The Russians commandos stormed the ship before sunrise, starting a firefight with our men, onboard they injured three of them and one was killed,” he said.

He dismissed the Russian navy statement that the men were released because of “the absence of a legal base to carry out prosecution procedures against pirates”.

“The Russians never released the young men instead they shot them point-blank range then loaded their lifeless bodies back on the boat,” he added.

The spokesman condemned the action of the Russian navy “our men never hurt their hostages, we simply want foreign ships to stop overfishing in our waters, if they are not happy to respect our-fishermen and their livelihood, we have no choice but to take hostage to compensate for the losses,” he cited.

“We condemn the action of the Russians, it’s driven by racism and hate for black people and Africa, it’s the face of the new Russia. In future, if we capture Russians they will meet the same fate as those they executed,” he added.

Meanwhile, many Somalis were angered by Somalia’s ambassador to Moscow, Mohamed Handule’s statement, who backed the Russian navy denying that the Russian destroyer Marshal Shaposhnikov has not acted inappropriately. They requested an investigation and the immediate replacement of Mr. Handule.

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“Not one Somali or the government of our country sees Russia has being guilty in this,” Mr. Handule told ITAR-TASS news agency.

On the 6th May, eleven Somali pirates hijacked the Liberian-flagged Russian oil tanker, MV Moscow University, carrying 86,000 tonnes of crude oil worth $US52 million in the Gulf of Aden. The anti-submarine destroyer Marshal Shaposhnikov was notified and dispatched a helicopter which disrupted the pirates while commandos on speed boats stormed the tanker. The Russians have killed all eleven pirates and have destroyed their boats according to the pirate spokesman.

There are reports, Somali pirates still hold 23 foreign ships and 384 sailors in Somalia. Meanwhile, a conference co-sponsored by the United Nation and the Turkish government designed to address the piracy, stability and Somalia’s security will be hosted in Istanbul from 21st-23rd of May.

Photo: AFP/Pierre Verdy

Somalilandpress | Wednesday, May 12, 2010

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