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Somali Pirates Release Indian Merchant Ship, Crew


Somali pirates have released an Indian sailing vessel and 14 crew members they seized last month.

A spokesman for the Kenyan Seafarers Assistance Program said Friday that the Indian dhow and its crew were freed about three days ago.

Andrew Mwangura said the crew is now unloading the ship's cargo in a southern Somali port. He said it is not clear whether the ship's owner paid any ransom to the pirates.

The Al-Haqeeq was hijacked with 800 tons of cargo on May 24 near the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

Hijackings have become an increasing problem off Somalia, where pirates operate with no interference from the beleaguered Somali interim government.

The U.N. has called for international action to stop the piracy.

Earlier this month, a U.S. warship fired warning shots across the bow of a Danish cargo vessel pirates had hijacked. The U.S. ship called off its pursuit after the pirates moved the ship into Somali territorial waters.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.