Somali pirates free second Yemeni ship without ransom

January 2nd, 2009 - 4:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Sanaa, Jan 2 (DPA) Somali pirates have released a second Yemeni fishing ship without ransom, more than two weeks after they hijacked the two ships in the Gulf of Aden, the commander of Yemen’s coast guard force said in remarks published Friday.Brigadier General Ali Ahmed Rasi told the state-run al-Thawra daily that the pirates freed the MV Qana’a without receiving any ransom.

He said the ship arrived in the southern Yemeni port of Aden late Wednesday with eight crew members on board.

The ship was hijacked along with another fishing ship in the Gulf of Aden Dec 10.

The other ship, the MV Falluja, was released Dec 27 with 12 crewmen on board. Yemeni officials said later that no ransom was paid for the ship’s release.

The pirates attacked the ships as they sailed off the Mait area near the southern port city of Aden.

Before the pirates took control of the ships, seven fishermen escaped on a small boat to report the attacks to the Yemeni Coast Guard Authority in Aden.

Rasi said the motive behind hijacking the two ships was not ransom.

“The pirates intended to use the ships as mother ships for their attacks on merchant ships crossing the Gulf of Aden,” he was quoted as saying.

Last month, Somali pirates freed a Yemeni cargo ship two weeks after they hijacked it in the Arabian Sea and demanded $2 million in ransom.

Yemeni officials said it was released without ransom after negotiations between the pirates and Somali tribal leaders.

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