Pirates threaten to kill child hostages

A danish family captured by pirates in the Indian Ocean will suffer the same fate as four American sailors slain last week if any rescue is attempted, a Somali pirate said yesterday.

Abdullahi Mohamed said he has ties with the gang holding the family – a Danish couple with three children, aged 12 to 16. The family was captured, along with two Danish crew members, last Thursday.

Most hostages captured in the pirate-infested waters off East Africa are professional sailors, not families. Pirates are not known to have captured children before.