Pirates issue warning over US hostage

April 11, 2009 12:00 am

, WASHINGTON, April 11 – Somali pirates holding a US captain hostage said Saturday they planned to move him to another ship and warned that using force to rescue him would result in "disaster."

"There are not any developments still on the standoff with the American officials," pirate commander Abdi Garad told AFP by phone from the northern Somali pirate lair of Eyl.

"We are planning to transfer the hostage on to one of the ships our friends are holding around Garacad area so that we can wait," he added without specifying which ship.

Only four pirates have been guarding Captain Richard Phillips on the lifeboat, and transferring him to a larger ship could give them better defences as the US military seeks to free him.

Garad’s comments came after French commandos on Friday stormed a yacht held by Somali pirates in an operation that left one French hostage and two gunmen dead.


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