Somalia: Seamen beg for ransom to be paid

The families of merchant seamen held by Somali pirates for more than 18 months have said the hostages are being forced to call home with warnings they could suffer further abuses unless a $2.85m (£1.85m) ransom is paid.

The payment for the 22 crew members on the Malaysian-owned MV Albedo was due in April under a deal negotiated through Dubai-based Somali merchants.

Families across South-east Asia raised some of the cash and the deadline was extended to await the remaining share from the ship's owners. Shahnaz Jawaid, the wife of the Albedo captain, said families of the crew receive calls pleading for the money nearly every day.