Sunday, January 24, 2010

Western 'leaders' hide as Muslim pirates threaten to kill

Somali pirates will die before releasing Paul and Rachel Chandler

Somali pirates yesterday threatened a fight to the death that would endanger a hostage British couple if British forces attempt to rescue their captives.

“We die first before they get freed,” said one of the pirates, contacted by satellite telephone.

Paul and Rachel Chandler, from Tunbridge Wells, Kent, were captured on October 23 as they sailed their yacht, the 38ft Lynn Rival, from the Seychelles towards Tanzania.

The pirates’ new threat follows reports that an operation mounted by the Special Boat Service to rescue the couple was “bungled” before it could reach them because of technical problems.

“If anyone interrupts our negotiations to get the payment of a ransom, it will be a risk for them [the Chandlers],” said “Gelle”, one of the pirates guarding the couple. “So we advise that no one interrupts our current good discussions.”