Pirates seize Danish family

A Danish family including three children have been kidnapped by pirates who hijacked their sailing boat in the Indian Ocean. According to Danish authorities, three children aged between 12 and 16, their parents and two crew members were taken captive by Somalian pirates on 24th February.

Lene Espersen, Denmark’s foreign minister, said that after receiving a distress signal from the boat on Thursday, she could now confirm that the family had been taken hostage. “It’s almost unbearable to think that there are children involved and I can only sharply denounce the pirates’ actions,” Espersen said, adding that the government would do everything in its power to help resolve the situation.

Ms Espersen did not release any further details about the kidnapping, claiming that providing too many facts could disrupt the rescue process. “Past experience has shown that too much information and commentary (on hostage-takings) threatens to undermine the cause,” she said.

The lucrative trade of hijacking boats at sea often sees Somalian gangs demanding millions of dollars in ransom money. According to the EU’s anti-piracy naval force, a total of 688 hostages and 31 vessels are currently being held by pirates. Most of the boats are taken close to the Gulf of Aden, which is one of the world’s busiest cargo shipping lanes.