Somali pirates free Italian tanker hijacked in Feb

The 105,000-ton tanker was seized on February 8 after five pirates aboard a skiff opened fire.

Rome: Somali pirates have freed an Italian oil tanker hijacked in February with five Italians and 17 Indians on board after nearly 11 months in captivity, the Italian government said on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Mario Monti "expressed his great
satisfaction for the release of the Italian ship Savina Caylyn
and the crew," it said in a statement.

The crew and their families had faced "a harsh test" over
the past months, it added, without providing details on how
the ship came to be released.

The 105,000-ton tanker owned by Naples shipping company
Fratelli D`Amato was seized on February 8 after five pirates
aboard a skiff opened fire with rocket launchers and
submachine guns near the Yemeni island of Socotra.

The ship had tried to evade capture by speeding up,
suddenly changing gear and firing powerful water jets on the
pirate boat.

The ship was on its way from Sudan to Malaysia and was
carrying a load of crude oil for the Arcadia commodities
trading company.

The Savina Caylyn was the last Italian ship in Somali
pirate hands.

A merchant ship captured in April off the coast of Oman
with six Italians and 15 Filipinos on board was released in
November after a ransom was reportedly paid, dropped off from
a small plane into pirate hands.

In October, British and US commandos raided a hijacked
Italian vessel, capturing the pirates and freeing the
carrier`s crew of 23 including seven Italians, 10 Ukrainians
and six Indians.


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