Somali Pirates Move Hijacked Ships After Siege

May 3, 2010 Updated: May 3, 2010

Three hijacked ships held by Somali pirates were sailed up the coast on Monday, a day after Islamist militants seized a pirate stronghold in the coastal city of Haradheere.

Two hundred armed fighters from the Hizbul Islam group stormed the city the day before leaving pirates fleeing in luxury cars packed with TV’s and other equipment, according to local witnesses.

The recently seized ships have around 60 crew members on board according to the BBC.

The fate of the hostages and ransom negotiations remain unclear. Hizbul Islam, which says it wants to establish Islamic law in the area, said on Monday that they will free any foreign hostages they find.

The BBC reports that the militant group had earlier tried to make a deal with the pirates to receive a share of the multimillion dollar profits.

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