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Two Somali pirates were killed and three others wounded when rival pirate groups clashed late on Saturday over the control of two western aid workers being held hostage, local authorities said on Sunday.
The clashes in Hinlabi, some 160 km east of Adado, erupted after a group of pirates from Galkayo attempted to forcibly take control of the kidnapped aid workers from the Danish Demining Group (DDG) but faced stiff resistance from other pirates who have been holding the hostages.
“Two pirates were killed and three others wounded in the clashes," a local elder who gave his name only as Ali said.
He said the some of the pirates were determined to take charge of the hostages but failed to do so.
But the president of Hibin and Heb administration, Mohamed Adan, gave a contradictory account saying that the fighting was between his forces and pirates from Galkayo.
“They are currently being held near Harardhere because the pirates do not want to be in big cities,” he said.
American Jessica Buchanan and Dane Poul Thisted were abducted from their vehicle last week after conducting a demining workshop in Galkayo.