Somali pirates release freighter with 17 crewmembers

16:46, 19 May 2009
World
619 0

One of them Ukrainian

A grain freighter with 17 crewmembers that was seized last month by Somali pirates was released on Tuesday, and is now on its way to Yemen, Ukraine`s Foreign Ministry said, RIA Novosti reported.

The Patriot was hijacked 150 miles northeast of Yemen on April 25 while en route to the Arab country. The Malta-flagged freighter`s crew consists of a Polish captain, a Ukrainian senior mechanic, and 15 Filipinos.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has said the crew are in a satisfactory condition.

According to the German ship owners, Johann M.K. Blumenthal GmbH & Co KG, the company was able to negotiate with the pirates for the Patriot`s release.

No information has been given on whether a ransom was paid.

Since the start of this year, almost a hundred vessels have been attacked by Somali pirates. A number of countries, including Russia, have deployed warships to protect Gulf of Aden shipping routes. Earlier this month, Somali pirates were reported to be holding 17 ships and some 300 crewmembers.

RIA Novosti

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