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Somali pirates release Maltese owned vessel

08-16-2011 14:57 BJT

NAIROBI, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- Somali pirates have released Maltese-flagged and owned bulk carrier which was hijacked in February in the North Arabian Sea, European Union anti-piracy task force confirmed late on Monday.

EU Naval Force Somalia spokesman Harrie Harrison said the MV Sinin which was seized on Feb. 12, approximately 350 nautical miles East of Masirah (Oman) in the North Arabian Sea with 23 crew members was released late on Sunday. "On Aug. 14, following payment of a ransom, the owner of M/V SININ has confirmed the release of the vessel after 182 days in captivity," Harrison said in a statement issued on Monday night.

The MV Sinin is a Maltese flagged and owned Bulk Carrier and has a crew of 22 (12 Iranian and 10 Indian nationals).

She has a deadweight of 52,466 tonnes and was on route to Singapore from Fujairah (UAE) when she was attacked. The ship is now on its way to a safe port.

The ship was not registered with Maritime Security Centre – Horn of Africa (MSCHOA) and was not reporting to the UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO).

The Gulf of Aden, a body of water between Somalia and Yemen, is the main sea route between Europe and Asia.

Tankers carrying Middle East oil through the Suez Canal must pass first through the Gulf of Aden. About 4 percent of the world's daily oil supply is shipped through the gulf.

The attacks are being carried out by increasingly well- coordinated Somali gangs armed with automatic weapons and rocket- propelled grenades, maritime officials said.

The Horn of Africa nation has been without a functioning government since 1991, and remains one of the world's most violent and lawless countries.

Combined Task Force 150, a naval alliance dominated by the United States and based in the Gulf of Aden nation of Djibouti, is patrolling an area within the Gulf of Aden to help protect ships from pirates.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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