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Somali pirates free Thai fishing vessel

world Updated: Mar 08, 2010 09:17 IST
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Somali pirates released a Thai fishing vessel Sunday after a ransom was paid, the European Union's anti-piracy mission said.

Some 23 Russian seamen, two Ghanaians and two Filipinos were on board the Thai Union 3, which was seized in October 2009 north of the Seychelles, 650 km from the Somali coast.

The Russian news agency Itar-Tass said the owners of the vessel paid "a significant" sum for its release.

A spokesman for the owners said the vessel was now on its way to the Seychelles, accompanied by a Russian warship. All the crew were in good health, he added.

The spokesman declined to confirm that a ransom of 3 million dollars was paid.

Saturday, Somali pirates hijacked a Norwegian-owned chemical tanker with a crew of 21. The UBT Ocean, whose crew are all from Myanmar, was on its way from the United Arab Emirates to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

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