SEOUL, South Korea – Pirates who seized a cargo ship off the coast of Somalia more than a month ago on Thursday freed the 22 sailors and the vessel, a South Korean official said.
Somali pirates seized the Ukrainian cargo ship MV Faina — which is laden with tanks and weapons. As Somalia sinks ever deeper into hunger and despair, attacking foreign ships bottle-necking into the Gulf of Aden is proving to be one of the few profitable activities in the country.(AFP/Jason R. Zalasky)
The crew members — eight South Koreans and 14 citizens from Myanmar — were heading toward ain the area after being set free earlier in the day, Foreign Ministry spokesman Moon Tae-young told reporters.
Moon said the sailors were all safe but declined to comment whether a ransom was paid.
The South Korean cargo vessel was hijacked by bulk carrier seized in the Gulf of Aden on Wednesday with a crew of 21.on Sept. 10 in the — one of 29 ships hijacked this year off the African coast. The latest is a Philippine
Also being held off the coast is the MV Faina, a Ukrainian ship carrying weapons and tanks. U.S. warships have surrounded the Faina as the pirates who seized it demanded millions of dollars in ransom.
Officials say 10 hijacked ships remain in the hands of pirates, along with about 200 crew members. With no effective government, Somalia cannot protect its coastline. It is located along the Gulf of Aden, which connects the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean and is one of the world’s busiest waterways with some 20,000 ships passing through it each year.
But international pressure on the pirates is growing….