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Somali Pirates Release Taiwanese Ship Seized Last Year

Somali pirates have released a Taiwanese ship that they seized off the coast of Somalia more than five months ago.

Taiwanese officials say the vessel, Chung Yi 218, has safely set sail from Somali waters. It is not clear how many crew members are on board, and if a deal was made to secure the ship's release.

The vessel was one of three Taiwanese ships held by Somali gunmen since August. The pirates had demanded a ransom of $500,000 for each boat and its crew. The other two vessels are reported still being held.

Pirates have attacked many ships off the Somali coast, including a United Nations World Food Program vessel hijacked last year.

Somalia has been without an effective central government since 1991.

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