Somali Pirates Allegedly Threaten to 'Burn Bones' of British Couple

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A European Union Naval Force spokesman in Somalia told Fox News that "various naval craft are in the area and aware of (the hijacked British) yacht's location."

He said reports stating that the yacht, allegedly hijacked by Somali pirates, has been spotted near Harardheere are "about right".

A German ship is reported to have the yacht on its radar, but is not close enough to it to make the pirates feel threatened.

The pirates allegedly responsible for the hijacking off the Somali coast have threatened to "burn the bones" of the couple, according to Sky News.

Pirate Mohamed Hussein warned that any attack on his colleagues would endanger the lives of the alleged captive couple, Sky News reported.

"We are telling Britain that any bullet of our friends on the yacht will be big cries for the families of the two old people we held," said Hussein according to Sky News.

"We warn them any attack on us, this is a good advice for them, otherwise they will burn their two people's bones," said Hussein, according to Sky News.

Another pirate, Mohamud Noh, told Sky News by phone that he feared "warships" were targetting his colleagues.

"Any attack [on his colleagues] may endanger the lives of the two old people we captured," Noh told Sky News.

Elders on Somalia's coast told Nairobi-based NGO Ecoterra that the hijacked yacht is now located just off the coast of Ceel Huur in Somalia, Fox News has learned.

A spokesman for Ecoterra said they were told that the yacht is not anchored, but it is not moving to Haraardheere, a known pirate lair, as was originally reported.

Ecoterrra claimed it was talking with Somalia elders about a possible release of the yacht.

European Union Naval Forces, who have nine ships in the area, said they have no new information about the yacht. They had said yesterday it might have been 200 miles off the Somali coast.

On Tuesday Naval Forces spotted a yacht towing two smaller boats behind it after Somali pirates claimed to have seized a British couple and their boat in the Indian Ocean during their round-the-world voyage.

Fears for the safety of Paul and Rachel Chandler from Tunbridge Wells have been mounting since the emergency beacon aboard their yacht, the Lynn Rival, went off last week.

Click to view Paul and Rachel Chandler's blog.

LIVESHOTS: British Couple Targeted by Pirates.

“We have captured two old British [people], a man and woman in the Indian Ocean, they were on a small boat that we have hijacked,” a pirate called Mohamed Shakir told The Times of London by phone from Haradheere in Somalia.

The pirate added that the two were “healthy and in our hands” but would not say where they would be taken. Ransom demands are likely to follow.

The U.K. Foreign Office said they have been in touch with the couple's family in England, and have contacted the Coast Guard in Seychelles, who continue to monitor the situatiion and search of the area.

The office is reportedly treating the disappearance as a missing persons case, and have two British Navy ships searching the area.

The Chandlers left the Seychelles on Thursday, heading for Tanzania via the Amirante Islands. Their emergency position-indicating radio beacon was activated on Friday.

Andrew Mwangura, head of the East Africa Seafarers’ Assistance Programme based in the Kenyan port of Mombassa, confirmed that the Lynn Rival was missing with two British crew on board.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are aware of the report. We are investigating urgently.”

The couple, both in their late 50s, have been sailing around the world. The last message on their blog, entered shortly before the distress signal was sent, reads simply: “PLEASE RING SARAH”.

The previous entry, written before leaving the Seychelles, was full of preparations for their voyage. “We’ll be at sea for 8 to 12 days, maybe 14 as we are now getting into the period of transition between the south monsoon and north monsoon, so the trade winds will be less reliable and we may get more light winds," they wrote.

In the past two weeks there have been at least five ships seized by pirates in the waters off the Seychelles. Activity has picked up in recent weeks as Monsoon winds and rains have died down.

This year there have been some 174 ships attacked by pirates off Somalia, 36 of which are being held. At least 587 people are being held hostage. Ransoms being paid out in recent months total in the tens of millions of dollars. The pace of hijackings is running ahead of last year.

Fox News' Greg Palkot, Sky News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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