M/V Orna. Image via EUNAVFOR

Somali pirates have killed a crew member of the hijacked M/V Orna as part of a tactic to speed up ransom payment.

The Panama-flagged bulk carrier was hijacked on December 10, 2010 a few hundred miles off the coast of Seychelles.  The 27,915 dwt Orna is owned by a company in the United Arab Emirates.

Insiders at Somalia Report have statedthat the hostage killed was a Syrian and it is believed that one other was also wounded.  Somalia Report has identified the owner of the Orna as Kassab Intershipping-Swedish Management.

“The killing was a message to the owners of the ship who paid no heed to our ransom demands,” a pirate negotiator told the AP by phone. “More killings will follow if they continue to lie to us — we have lost patience with them. Two years is enough.”

The incident is believed to be the first time Somali pirates have killed a hostage as a tactic to speed up ransom payments.

A recent study revealed that in 2011 35 hostages died while in captivity however none of those were directly linked to ransom negotiations.  According to the report 8 were killed by pirates during an initial attack or after being taken captive; 8 died from disease or malnutrition while being held; and 19 died in crossfire while being used as human shields and during hostage rescue attempts.  Another 3 hostages died after release as a result of abuse they had suffered while in captivity.

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