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Somalia

Somalia arrests two foreigners for paying pirates' ransom

AFP PHOTO/SPANISH MINISTRY OF DEFENCE HANDOUT

At least two foreigners are being held in an undisclosed location in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, on charges of delivering ransom money destined to Somali pirates.

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The government has released an official statement confirming the reports but has not revealed the names or nationalities of the individuals.

The men arrived on a small plane in Mogadishu, which was waiting for a second small plane to come in, collect the cash and fly it to another destination in the country, officials say.

Reports suggest the sum was in excess of two and a half million euros.

Heavily armed pirates using speedboats operating from Somalia have been attacking ships over a vast area for a number of years, despite the presence of warships from navies around the world.

Although there is still no evidence that the men were delivering a ransom, it would not be the first attempt to do so.

A record was set last November when six million euros was paid for the release of the Samho Dream, according to pirates.

And in late 2009 a Spanish trawler, the Alakrana, was released along with its crew of 36 against a ransom of four million dollars.

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