In Brief

Somali pirates release oil tanker hostages

Hijackers given their freedom after dropping ransom demand

Somalian pirate

Somali pirates who hijacked an oil tanker and took its eight crew members hostage have released the vessel and crew in return for their freedom.

The announcement came hours after the hijackers and naval forces exchanged gunfire over a boat believed to be carrying supplies to the pirates, the BBC reports.

"There has been discussion going on after the gunfight of this afternoon," Abdirahman Mohamud Hassan, director general of the Puntland maritime police force, said. "We pulled our forces back and so the pirates went away."

One of the hijackers, identified only as Abdullahi, told Reuters the ransom demand was dropped during negotiations with security officials.

The Daily Telegraph reports the pirates "were not arrested but instead were given passage to leave once they disembarked".

The eight Sri Lankan crew were released unharmed.

Monday's hijacking "followed an outpouring of anger by locals over foreign fishermen flooding into their waters," says The Guardian. Somalis are "also angry with their government for licensing some of the ships".

The tanker was en route from Djibouti to Mogadishu when it was seized just off the coast of Somalia.

It is the first such incident in five years in a region once overrun with pirates. In previous cases, crews remained in captivity for years before a ransom was paid.

Recommended

Quiz of The Week: 20 - 26 November
Boris Johnson leaves No. 10 to attend Prime Minister’s Questions
Quizzes and puzzles

Quiz of The Week: 20 - 26 November

Explosions in space: a Russian show of strength
Astronaut aboard the International Space Station
Global lens

Explosions in space: a Russian show of strength

The space mission launched to protect Earth
Asteroid flies through night sky
The latest on . . .

The space mission launched to protect Earth

Why record Channel drownings are unlikely to deter migrants
Migrants on the Channel
Getting to grips with . . .

Why record Channel drownings are unlikely to deter migrants

Popular articles

Vladimir Putin and his mysterious love life
Vladimir Putin and his now ex-wife Lyudmila Putina
Profile

Vladimir Putin and his mysterious love life

Trump ‘upset his son won’t say he loves him’
Donald and Barron Trump
Tall Tales

Trump ‘upset his son won’t say he loves him’

Woman who married herself divorcing after meeting someone else
A wedding ring
Tall Tales

Woman who married herself divorcing after meeting someone else

The Week Footer Banner