Somali pirates release Liberian-flagged tanker
Somali pirates have released a Liberian-flagged chemical tanker which was hijacked in the Gulf of Aden late November last year with 28 crew members on board.
Andrew Mwangura, East Africa's Coordinator of the Seafarers Assistance Program (SAP) confirmed on Saturday the MT Biscaglia was freed early Friday with 28 crew members, including 25 Indians and three Bangladeshi nationals, reported Xinhua.
"Reports filtering here from Somalia shows that the Liberian- flagged MT Biscaglia is free and she is now sailing out to sea from Somalia with all 28 crew members," Mwangura told Xinhua on Saturday.
"Crew members of the MT Biscaglia are composed of 25 Indians and 3 Bangladeshi. Also aboard were two Britons and one Irish Security Guards, the statement said
The Biscaglia was hijacked on Nov. 28 and also carried three security guards -- two Britons and one Irish national -- who jumped overboard when the pirates attacked.
The chemical tanker was carrying 16,282 tons of cargo and traveling between Indonesia and Europe.
At least 15 foreign vessels and around 250 crew members are still being held by pirates off the coast of Somalia.
The surge in attacks has prompted Western warships to establish a security corridor in the gulf patrolled by an international coalition of warships.
Piracy is rife off Somalia, which has been mired in anarchy since ruler Siad Barre was overthrown in 1991.