According to The Associated Press, three Somali pirates were killed in a fight over the ransom paid to free German-American journalist who was released this week after two years and eight months in captivity, a police official said Friday (September 26).
The gunfight broke out in the central town of Galkayo late Thursday (September 25) when some of the pirates who held Michael Scott Moore attacked their comrades, accusing them of conducting a secret deal with negotiators, said Mohamed Hassan.
COMMENT: The good news was that Moore was freed on Tuesday (September 23) and the three "nasties" were eliminated from having to be tried in a court of law.
The disagreement began after one group of pirates appeared unwilling to share the cash with others, said Bile Hussein, a pirate commander in the coastal town of Hobyo, told the AP on Friday.
Previously, a ransom of $1.6 million was paid by Somali intermediaries acting on behalf of Germany.
Germany's Foreign Ministry hasn't confirmed money was paid, although we have seen that even the US is agreeable to making a "bad deal," after loyal US Army soldiers died trying to rescue US Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl for five Guantanamo Bay "nasties."
Moore, 45, who holds both German and US citizenship, was flown to the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, where he was said to be getting medical care after being freed in Somalia, according to Germany's Foreign Ministry.
A statement issued Thursday through the German magazine DER SPIEGEL, for which Moore had freelanced in the past, said he was safe, but in need of attention.
Moore was seized by pirates in January 2012 in Galkayo as he drove from the airport. Just four days later, US Navy SEALs rescued an American and a Danish citizen in a nighttime raid while killing all nine of their guards. Those two had also been kidnapped in Galkayo in October 2011.
Hussein, the pirate commander, said the pirates who held Moore grew tired of keeping him and were increasingly concerned the US would send in a team of special operators to secure the journalist's freedom.
The pirates had been holding out for a ransom of $5 million, he said, but decided to settle for $1.6 million offered by negotiators after a lull in the negotiation.
The towns of Hobyo and Galkayo are well-known pirate dens in Somalia and Moore was abducted around the time pirates turned to kidnappings for income after their income from hijacking ships declined as a result of armed internationals vessels conducting anti-piracy patrols off the coast of Somalia.