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Somali pirates have released a Greek-owned cargo ship and its 24 Ukrainian crew members after seven months in captivity.
The director of Greek shipping firm Alloceans Shipping , Spyros Minas, says pirates freed the Ariana Thursday, after the company paid a ransom.
In Kiev, Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko also announced the crew's release.
The shipping company did not reveal the size of the ransom, but pirates told reporters the amount was more than $2.5 million.
Pirates have continued to hijack vessels despite the presence of foreign naval patrols near Somalia.
They are still believed to be holding around 260 crew members on nearly a dozen captured ships.