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Somali pirates release Hong Kong freighter

world Updated: Nov 19, 2008 18:12 IST

AFP
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Somali pirates on Wenesday released a Hong Kong-flagged ship and its 25 crew seized two months ago, a Kenyan maritime official said.

The MV Great Creation, with 24 Chinese and one Sri Lankan crew, was seized on September 18.

"The pirates released the Great Creation this morning and it is currently sailing to Abu Dhabi," said Andrew Mwangura of the East African Seafarers Association, which monitors shipping in the region and the activities of Somali pirates.

The Great Creation, a bulk carrier, is owned by Sinotras Shipping Limited, a major Hong Kong shipping line.

The ship was on its way to the Indian Port of Pipavav from Tunisia when it was seized and taken to Eyl, a pirates base on the Somali coast.

It was released four days after pirates seized the Sirius Star in the Indian Ocean some 800 km off the coast of Kenya.

The ship -- carrying two million barrels of oil, valued at $100 million at current crude prices -- is now anchored at the Somali pirate lair of Harardhere, according to local officials.