Somali pirates release hijacked tanker and its crew.
The EU Naval Force (Somalia) has confirmed that the Comoros-flagged bunkering tanker Aris 13 and its crew, that were hijacked by Somali pirates has been released.
The vessel which was hijacked by armed men on march 13 while it was was en route to Mogadishu from Djibouti has been released following negotiations between the Puntland Maritime Police Force (PMPF), local Somali authorities, clan elders in the Xabo region, and the pirates to free the ship and its crew.
The vessel was released on March 16 and the Aris 13 and her crew are now en route to a safe port on the north coast of Somalia as at the time of reporting.
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Prior to the release, in the morning hours the same day, it was reported that Somali authorities exchanged gunfire with the pirates, who were in the midst of resupplying themselves aboard the tanker in the country’s anchorage off the north coast of Puntland, close to Alula.
The EU Naval Force also informed earlier that the Somali pirates initially demanded a ransom for the ship’s release, however, the amount of the ransom was not unveiled.
Further details about the release are still to be confirmed. But what is certain is that the 1990-built tanker has been freed and its crew are safe.