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Tanker hijacked off Kenya coast released after 7 months

(Xinhua)

15:14, December 01, 2011

SINGAPORE, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- Singapore-registered chemical tanker MT Gemini was released on Wednesday, 215 days after it was hijacked off the Kenyan coast, its ship management company said on Thursday.

Twenty-one of the 25 crew members were released, including five Chinese nationals, 13 Indonesians and three Myanmar citizens. They were physically unharmed, the Glory Ship Management Pte Ltd. said.

Four South Korean nationals, however, were still being held. Glory said the pirates had earlier promised to release all the crew members.

"We are relieved that 21 of the crew have been released and are in good health. We will expedite their speedy return home. In the meantime, we are expending all efforts to secure the release of the four South Koreans still held as hostage," Glory said in a statement on Thursday.

Glory said the released crew members will go back to their home countries after medical checks, but there is no specific date yet for their journey.

The chemical tanker was seized by pirates in April off the Kenyan coast.

The ship had set sail from Kuala Tanjung, Sumatra, Indonesia with a cargo of over 28,000 metric tons of crude palm oil.

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