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Somali Pirates Release Greek-Owned Ship


A maritime official says Somali pirates have released a Greek-owned ship captured in late March.

Andrew Mwangura of the East Africa Seafarers Assistance Program said the MV Nipayia was freed late Saturday, and that all of its crew was safe.

He said it is not clear whether a ransom was paid.

The Panama-flagged ship was hijacked March 25 off Somalia's southern coast.

Meanwhile, 11 Somalis have been charged with piracy in a Kenyan court.

The Somalis were captured by the French Navy in the Indian Ocean last week, and handed over to Kenyan authorities for prosecution.

They appeared in a Mombasa court Monday, where they were accused of possessing weapons and attacking a French warship, the Nivose.

The Nivose is part of the European Union's anti-piracy naval force off Somalia. Despite this presence, and that of other foreign warships, Somali pirates have continued to hijack commercial vessels for ransom.

After the release of the Nipayia, pirates are still holding at least 18 ships.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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