Three children on board Somali pirates' latest capture

A yacht with seven Danes on board, three of them children, has been

hijacked by pirates in the Indian Ocean, according the the Danish

foreign ministry.

The yacht, reportedly named ING, was seized off

the south coast of Oman.On board are the three children, aged from 12 to

16, their un-named family, and two crew.

 A Danish warship, is part of an international anti-piracy fleet, is believed to be in the area.

 Its seizure comes at a worrying time, as Somali pirates turn

increasingly violent towards their hostages. Last week four Americans

were shot dead on board their yacht Quest as a US Navy strike group

approached.

The Times reports today that international navies are

taking a more combative stance. In separate incidents in January

Malaysian and South Korean commandoes launched raids on hijacked ships,

rescuing crew and killing pirates.

 “The stakes are rising and if the pirates are trying to make a

$9 million ransom instead of $1 million ransom they are going to use

every tactic available to them,” warned Roger Middleton, a piracy

researcher at London’s Chatham House think-tank.n.

“There is a change in the nature of the individuals doing the attacks,

from fishermen to fighters,” said Alan Cole, coordinator of anti-piracy

programmes for the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime in Nairobi,

Kenya. These gunmen bring with them a greater willingness and higher

propensity for violence, he warned.