EU: Somali pirates free cargo vessel after ransom

After over a month in pirate hands, the captured ship was freed Tuesday

Published May 11, 2010 12:24PM (EDT)

The spokesman for the European Union's anti-piracy force says Somali pirates have released a cargo vessel they had held for more than a month.

Cmdr. John Harbour says the pirates left the vessel early Tuesday, three days after they had received a ransom. The refrigerated cargo vessel is sailing north, he says.

Harbour says the crew of 23 Sri Lankans, one Filipino and one Syrian is safe and well.

Somali pirates hijacked the Talca on March 23 about 120 miles (190 kilometers) off the coast of Oman.

At least 20 vessels and more than 283 crew members are in Somali pirate hands at the moment. Somalia's 19 years of lawlessness has allowed piracy to flourish, seeing the trade rise to become a multimillion dollar business.

By Associated Press

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