10 Dec 2007
Pirates holding a Japanese chemical tanker off Somalia's coast have threatened to kill its crew if their $1m ransom demand is not met.
The Golden Nori was hijacked on October 28 along with 23 crew members from Myanmar, the Philippines and South Korea.
It was carrying thousands of tons of inflammable benzene from Singapore to the occupied Palestine (Israel).
US Navy ships are trying to force a surrender by blocking supplies to the tanker and authorities in Puntland, a Somali semi-autonomous region, are asking the pirates to surrender peacefully to the Puntland coast.
Militia have been dispatched to Bosaso harbor, a few nautical miles from where the vessel is being held.
Somalia lies on a major trade route between Asia and Europe via the Suez canal, and lacking a functional government has been blamed for numerous pirate attacks along its 3,700 kilometer coastline.
Pirates in Somalia hijacked 'The Golden Nori', a chemical tanker headed for Israel
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