Pirates release ship for ‘ransom’

Somali pirates have released a Togo-flagged cargo ship seized last week, reportedly after a $100,000 (£68,000) ransom was paid.

The 5,000-tonne Lebanese-owned MV Sea Horse was taken by gunmen in several skiffs on 14 April east of Mogadishu. The ship had been heading to Mumbai, India, to pick up food aid for Somalia. Nineteen foreign vessels and more than 300 sailors remain in the hands of Somali pirates, who have stepped up attacks on shipping in recent weeks. About three million people – half the Somali population – need assistance, donors say. “Somali traders were involved in the release of this ship. They mediated and paid some money. I think it was not more than $100,000,” a source told Reuters news agency by telephone.

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