EU: Somali Pirates Release Ship With 20 Crew

Published on Monday 28th February 2011

Somali pirates are reported to have freed a Japanese ship and its 20-member crew.The European Union's anti-piracy force said Monday that the MV Izumi was released on February 25. A brief statement said the vessel and its all-Filipino crew are believed to be headed for a safe port.The Izumi and its crew members were held captive for four and a half months. There was no immediate word on whether a ransom was paid for their release.Earlier, the EU force said pirates had seized a Greek-owned cargo ship off the coast of Oman, where Somali pirates have attacked in the past.The MV Dover was hijacked Monday as it traveled from Yemen to its planned destination in Pakistan.The EU force said the ship had a crew of 23, including 19 Filipinos, three Romanians and one Russian.
It said it had not made contact with the vessel and had no information on the crew.Somali pirates have hijacked dozens of ships during the past few years, and taken in hundreds of millions of dollars in ransom money. The EU task force says the pirates are currently holding at least 32 vessels and nearly 700 hostages.



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