Two workers from the Danish Demining Group taken hostage in Somalia last week will only be released for a 50 million kroner ransom, Ekstra Bladet newspaper reports.
The two workers, 60-year-old Dane Poul Hagen and 32-year-old American Jessica Buchanan were abducted a week last Tuesday in the Somalian town of Galkayo and have since been moved to the al-Shabaab controlled region of Galmudug.
The regionÂ’s deputy police chief, Abdi Hasan Gorey, visited the pirates to begin negotiations on Sunday.
Â“They are demanding between $9 million and $12 million,Â” Gorey told Ekstra Bladet.
Gorey added that the hostages were being treated well and were being fed camel meat and milk, the same food as the pirates were eating.
Norwegian piracy expert Stig Jarle Hansen, told Ekstra Bladet that he doubts the pirates would receive the full amount they had demanded.
Â“The final amount will not be that big. I would think they will get an amount some 90 percent less,Â” Hansen said, adding that the hostages will probably remain well treated.
Â“They are worth a lot of money to the pirates so they will be making sure that nothing happens to them,Â” he said.
According to the website Somalia Report, two of the pirates who were arrested in connection with the abduction have since escaped after bribing prison guards.
One of the men, Abdirisak Moalin Dhere, was responsible for the security of the hostages while in Somalia and confessed that he had conspired with the pirates to abduct the pair.
The Danish Refugee Council, which operates the Danish Deminig Group, has appealed directly to tribal leaders and representatives of Somalian clans to release the hostages.
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