Tunisian crew of hijacked ship released, ransom paid: TAP

08:31, March 18, 2011      

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A 22-member Tunisian crew of a ship hijacked off Somalia in November has been released on Thursday, state-run TAP news agency reported.

Quoting the transport ministry, the agency said a ransom of 2 million dollars has been paid for the release of the crew of chemical tanker Hannibal II which now on its way from the Gulf of Aden to Djibouti in the Red Sea on a three-day journey.

It said the tanker had 31 crew members, who are in good health.

The tanker is owned by Tunisia's Gabes Marine Tankers (GMT) and was en route to Suez in Egypt from Pasir Guadang in Malaysia when Somali pirates attacked it in the Horn of Africa on Nov. 11, 2010.

Using high-powered speedboats, pirates are reported to hold at least 28 ships and more than 650 hostages. The dearth of functioning government in Somalia for decades boosts the pirates' control off Somalia.

Source: Xinhua
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