Somali pirates release Syrian-owned ship with 22 crew aboard

08:46, June 01, 2011      

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Somali pirates have released a Syrian-owned ship with 22 crew members, all Syrians, EU anti- piracy taskforce said on Tuesday.

EU Naval Force Somali spokesman Paddy O'Kennedy said that the MV Khaled Muhieddine K, which was pirated in the North Arabian Sea approximately 330 nautical miles South East of the Omani coastal port of Salalah, was freed on May 26 from pirate control after 126 days.

"The crew of 22 Syrians and 3 Egyptians are all well," O' Kennedy said in a statement. The Togo flagged vessel has a deadweight of 24,022 tonnes.

The Gulf of Aden, which links the Indian Ocean with the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea, is the quickest route for more than 20,000 vessels traveling annually between Asia, Europe and the Americas.

However, attacks by heavily armed Somali pirates on speedboats have prompted some of the world's largest shipping firms to switch routes from the Suez Canal and reroute cargo vessels around southern Africa, causing more shipping costs. Somalia has been in strife for the past three decades. Strategically located in the Horn of Africa, it has been embroiled in a bitter civil war for years.

The country does not have a functioning government and the authority of the so-called Transitional Federal Government is limited mostly to the areas around the capital Mogadishu.

Source: Xinhua
 
 
     
 
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