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Somali troops fail in attack on pirates holding Danish sailors

by Sail-World Cruising round-up on 11 Mar 2011
Ing crew, Jan Quist Johansen, his wife, Birgit Marie Johansen, their sons, Rune and Hjalte, and daughter, Naja, ages 12 to 16 SW
Eight government troops from the Puntland province of Somalia have been killed in a foiled attempt to free seven Danish cruising sailors held by pirates in the mountainous region in the tip of the Horn of Africa. None of the group of seven Danish sailors, which includes three children, have been injured.

In a story that has been flashed around the world in the mainstream press, pirates captured a sailboat carrying Jan Quist Johansen, his wife and children aged 12 to 16 on 24th February as the family was crossing the Indian Ocean and reportedly heading for Somalia as part of a world circumnavigation. There were also two Danish crew on board the yacht when captured.

Puntland government troops tried to rescue the family on Thursday but came under attack by the pirates as the troops advanced on their mountain hide-out. A security officer told AFP that the pirates killed eight troops.

The family, who is being held several miles from where the attack took place, was not injured.

The pirates earlier warned against any possible rescue attempt. Somalian Abdullahi Mohamed said in February that he had ties with the gang holding the group and that any attack against the pirates would result in the deaths of the hostages.

Four American hostages taken captive by pirates on their yacht, the SV Quest, off the coast of Oman were killed earlier in February.
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