Somali Pirates Release Italian Ship After 11 Months
Somali pirates have released an Italian oil tanker and its crew after nearly 11 months in captivity.
An Italian government statement Wednesday said Prime Minister Mario Monti expressed deep satisfaction with the release of the Italian-owned Savina Caylyn and its crew.
The statement gave no details about the ship's release, or whether a ransom was paid.
Somali pirates captured the oil tanker February 8 in the Indian Ocean after attacking it with small arms and rocket propelled grenades.
The European Union's anti-piracy force said the ship was carrying 22 crew members — five Italians and 17 Indians.
Somali pirates have made hundreds of millions of dollars hijacking ships for ransom in recent years.
Before the release of the Savina Caylyn, the EU force said Somali pirates were holding seven ships and 200 crew members. Those numbers are down significantly from a year ago at this time, when the pirates were reported to be holding 22 ships and more than 500 crew.
International naval forces are patrolling the waters near Somalia, and shipping companies have increasingly taken security measures to prevent hijackings, such as posting armed guards on board, and building “safe rooms” in which crews can lock themselves if pirates board their ships.
Article by VOA News