Somali Pirates Free Egyptian Ship Held Since August

Posted June 14th, 2011 at 11:30 am (UTC-5)
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Somali pirates have released an Egyptian-owned cargo ship and its crew after receiving a ransom of more than two million dollars.

The Panama-flagged MV Suez was seized in the Gulf of Aden more than 10 months ago while carrying a load of cement from Pakistan to Eritrea.

The ship has a crew of 23 people, including Pakistanis, Indians and Egyptians. Their condition is unknown, but Pakistani officials said they expect the freed hostages to return home soon.

The ransom money, reportedly delivered sometime over the past few days, was raised in part by a fund set up by a Pakistani human rights activist, Ansar Burney.

Somali pirates have made hundreds of millions of dollars over the past few years by hijacking ships and holding them hostage.

Last week, pirates were reportedly paid $12 million for the release of a Kuwaiti oil tanker that had been held since late March.