Mogadishu (Somalia): Islamist militants who have taken over a pirate town in Somalia say they plan to eliminate the piracy trade off East Africa`s coast.
Militants from the group Hizbul Islam also say they will liberate foreign hostages and ships held by pirates if they find them.
Dozens of Hizbul Islam fighters moved into the pirate den of Haradhere on Sunday. The incursion sent pirates fleeing with big-screen TVs piled into luxury cars bought with millions of dollars of ransom money.
The head of Hizbul Islam, Sheik Mohamed Abdi Aros, said his fighters have found no hostages. Pirates hold more than 300 hostages taken from ships attacked off East Africa.
Somalia has not had an effective government for nearly 20 years, allowing piracy to flourish off its shores.