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Piracy update: Panama-flagged ship hijacked; Turkish ship freed

London: Somalian pirates this week hijacked a Panama-flagged 17,300 tonne ship sailing in a recommended shipping lane. The cargo ship, which was carrying cement bags, has a crew of 23 seafarers on board from Egypt, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

On Thursday, pirates operating in the same waters off the Gulf of Aden released Maltese-flagged Turkish cargo vessel Frigia after about four months of holding its 21-member crew hostage. The crew, from Turkey and Ukraine, are said to be in good health. Lawyers for the owner, Kayra Shipping, declined to confirm if a ransom was paid for their release. The 35,000-tonne vessel will continue its journey to deliver its cargo of fertiliser to Thailand with a new crew. [02/08/10]

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