Chinese ship escorts released Singapore's tanker

10:25, February 27, 2010      

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The Singapore-flagged tanker Pramoni, hijacked off the Somali coast last month, was escorted by a Chinese vessel to the safe waters on Friday, said the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

"At the request of the Singaporian side, the Chinese 'Chaohu' navy ship successfully conducted the escort mission," said a statement issued by the Foreign Ministry Friday night.

"All crew onboard the Singapore-flagged chemical tanker are safe and sound and emotionally stable," the statement said, without specifying the route or length of the escort mission.

The cargo ship, with five Chinese sailors among the 24 crew onboard, was hijacked by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden on Jan. 1.

"The Chinese escort mission provided the released vessel with necessary supplies and medical assistance," the statement said.

Pramoni's captain thanked the captain and crew of the Chinese vessel helping with the escort.

China sent its first escort mission to the Gulf of Aden off Somalia in early 2009. Its fourth mission is now part of a multinational coalition of warships patrolling the pirate-infested area.

Source: Xinhua
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