Somali Pirates Release Hijacked Ship
The Maltese-owned San Carlo tanker had been hijacked on October 20th in the Indian Ocean, as it made its way from Bahrain to South Africa. It was carrying a 24-member Greek crew and a cargo of gas.
It is not known if a ransom was paid, but shipping experts in the region say some compensation must have been provided; otherwise, the pirates would not have released the ship.
According to the International Maritime Bureau, there have been at least 25 hijackings and attempted seizures of vessels by Somali pirates since March. There are still six ships being held along with their crews by pirates.
At least five ships have been attacked in the busy Indian Ocean corridor off the coast of the East Africa. The northern and southern parts of Somalia's coastline are the primary trade routes for oil, grain, and iron ore from the Gulf and Red Sea down to the Mozambique Channel.
Thousands of merchant ships sail past the Somali coast to the Cape of Good Hope each year.