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Pirates Get $1.2 Million Ransom to Release Crew of Spanish Fishing Boat


Somali and Kenyan officials say a ransom of $1.2 million was paid to pirates to release a Spanish fishing boat and its crew of 26 hijacked off the coast of Somalia last week.

Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega told a news conference in Madrid Saturday that the release had been the result of a joint effort from Spain and the ship's owners. She did not mention a ransom.

She said a Spanish ship is escorting the boat and crew to what she called "safer waters." She said the 13 Spaniards and 13 Africans are in good health.

Pirates in Somali waters fired grenades at the Spanish tuna fishing boat on April 20, before seizing the boat and its crew.

Pirate attacks are common in the mostly unregulated waters off Somalia.

A French court recently charged six Somalis in connection with the seizure of a French luxury yacht earlier this month. French troops captured the six after the pirates were paid a ransom and released their 30 hostages, who were held for a week.

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