Somali Pirates Threaten to Kill Korean Hostages

Somali pirates on Sunday threatened to kill any Korean sailors they take hostage in the future in revenge against the Korean Navy killing eight pirates on Friday when it stormed a hijacked vessel in the Indian Ocean to rescue the crew.

"We never planned to kill but now we shall seek revenge," a pirate who identified himself as Mohamed told Reuters by phone. "We shall never take a ransom from Korean ships, we shall burn them and kill their crew."

"We shall redouble our efforts. Korea has put itself in trouble by killing my colleagues," he added. The pirate is reportedly from Garad, one of the two pirate havens in Somalia.

After the Cheonghae Unit rescued the freighter Samho Jewelry, Somali pirates took some hostages from hijacked ships to an inland camp for fear of similar operations by other foreign navies, according to a pirate who identified himself as Hussein.

Observers speculate that they include the crew of the Korean fishing boat Keummi 305, which was hijacked last November and whose 43 members include two Koreans.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jan. 24, 2011 08:51 KST