NAIROBI, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- Somali pirates have released a Turkish
commercial vessel with 20 crewmembers on board, a regional maritime official
confirmed on Wednesday.
Andrew Mwangura, East Africa's Coordinator of Seafarers Assistance Program
said the MV Yasa Neslihan which was hijacked on October 29, 2008 was freed on
"Gunmen have released one of the three Turkish ships. The vessel was
released on Tuesday and I'm not sure whether ransom was paid, "Mwangura told
Xinhua by telephone.
The vessel was carrying 77,000 tons of iron ore.
Pirates have been increasingly active in the waters off Somalia where over
120 ships were attacked in 2008, with around 40 vessels seized.
The navies of at least 10 countries are involved in anti-piracy operations
off the coast of the East African nation. Among the victims of pirate attacks
there have been cargo ships, oil tankers and luxury yachts.