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Somali pirates release Sirius Star

Somali pirates release Sirius Star

Nairobi: Hijacked Vela VLCC Sirius Star has been released by Somali pirates this week. The 162,252gt vessel with its crew of 25 sailors had been captured in the pirate infested waters off the Gulf of Aden in November.

"All our people have now left the Sirius Star. The ship is free, the crew is free," Mohamed Said, one of the leaders of the pirate group, told AFP by telephone from the pirate lair of Harardhere. "There were last-minute problems but now everything has been finalised."

It remains unclear how much money passed hands for the release of the vessel, which was originally being ransomed for $25m. The ship was en route from Saudi Arabia to the US by way of the Cape of Good Hope at the time of the attack, with an onboard cargo of oil valued at about $100m.  [09/01/09]

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