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Mar 17, 2017 | 14:00 GMT

Somalia: Pirates Release ARIS 13 And Crew

The pirates who hijacked an ARIS 13 tanker March 13 released the vessel and its crew March 17, Reuters reported. According to statements from the captain of the vessel, no ransom was paid for their release. Somali media reports suggested that Puntland security forces relied on local clan elders to persuade the hijackers to release the vessel, which is making its way to the nearby port of Bosaso. Earlier reports indicated that the hijackers had already offloaded the fuel that the bunkering tanker was carrying, perhaps profiting from the incident. The ARIS 13 is a vessel with Comoros flags and a crew of eight Sri Lankan sailors. Pirates diverted it to the coastal Puntland town of Alula on March 13. This is the first successful hijacking of a commercial vessel by Somali pirates since 2012, although it may not signal the return of a larger piracy threat in the Gulf of Aden.
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