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Fri 20 Nov 2009 08:39 AM

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Somali pirates free UAE-owned cargo ship

Ship's release followed negotiations with businessmen in the anarchic country's capital.

Somali pirates have freed a UAE-owned cargo ship, a Somali businessman said on Thursday, dismissing suggestions that it had been carrying weapons to the anarchic country.

Ali Dheere, the chairman of Mogadishu's general merchandise traders, said the ship's release had followed negotiations with businessmen in the anarchic country's capital.

However, he refused to comment on whether a ransom had been paid and expressed concern that it might be seized again.

"The negotiation ended last night and the ship was freed today," Dheere told Reuters, but added: "We are afraid pirates will recapture it."

A maritime expert told Reuters last week that he believed the ship is one of the regular weapon carriers to Somalia which is under a United Nations arms embargo. He said it was using the fake name Al Mizan.

However, Dheere said the ship had been laden with commercial non-military goods when it was seized last week.

The ship was held off Garacad, an old port town in central Somalia that is now a base for pirates, and was now heading for Mogadishu, Dheere said.

Despite an unprecedented international naval deployment to deter them, Somali pirates continue marauding in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden waters.

In the latest seizure, the brigands shot the captain of a Virgin Islands'-owned chemical tanker during a hijacking attack. He died of his wounds earlier this week. (Reuters)

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CASEY 10 years ago

I am sick and tired of hearing about this! I don't understand how a bunch of normal,off the street,run of the mill men can travel these oceans in little Dingy boat can seize these huge ships!This has been going on way to long,where is their protection????? I JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

RESIDENT IN KUWAIT 10 years ago

In the old days pirate ships were blown out of the water as soon as spotted. Now they have to wait until they attack a ship and then you cn only scare them off. You must not injure them or the EU or the USA will get upset. NO PRISONERS AND NO MORE PIRATES, VERY SIMPLE.

Sandy 10 years ago

The answer is simple. Allow these shipping companies to hire specialist ex-military security staff with machine guns and rocket launchers. Lets see how keen these thieving idiots will be to attempt to hijack a ship once a few of their friends have been blown out of the water....

Saeid 10 years ago

Do you guys not realize that these pirates attack on little dingy and are armed to their teeth worth rocket and grenade launchers. Sure it is possible to shoot at them or even kill them. but if one of their rockets hits the target, the loss could be in over 50 million $. That's why the ransoms are paid.