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Somali pirates free S Korean, Thai vessels
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16:01, October 17, 2008

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Somali pirates have freed a South Korean and a Thai vessels after more than a month of captivity, a regional maritime official confirmed on Friday.

Andrew Mwangura, coordinator of the East Africa Seafarers Assistance Program, said the South Korean bulker Bright Ruby which was seized in the Gulf of Aden on Sept. 10 as it was sailing from Europe to Asia with cargo was freed on Thursday.

Mwangura said the pirates released Thor Star of Thailand and her 28 crew members, 64 days after the vessel was hijacked 160 km off the coast of Yemen in early August.

The 1985-built vessel was released by its captors in Somalia early Tuesday. No details were given about whether any ransom had been paid to release the vessel and crew.

"The MV Bright Ruby of South Korea was freed on Thursday by pirates while the Thor Star was released a day earlier," Mwangura told Xinhua by telephone.


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