Somali Pirates Free Chinese Ship With 29 Crew

Posted June 9th, 2011 at 7:45 am (UTC-5)
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Somali pirates have released a Chinese cargo ship and its 29 Chinese crew members after nearly seven months in captivity.

The European Union's anti-piracy force said Thursday that the MV Yuan Xiang is heading for a safe port after being freed a day earlier. It said it had no information on the condition of the crew.

The EU statement made no mention of a ransom payment but Reuters news agency quotes a pirate in the town of El-Dhanane who said the ship was freed after pirates received the “agreed ransom” on Wednesday morning.

Somali pirates had captured the Yuan Xiang on November 13 in the Arabian Sea, off the coast of Oman.

Pirates continue to terrorize shipping in waters near Somalia despite international naval patrols. The pirates have made hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years hijacking ships and holding them for ransom.