Somali Pirates Free Taiwanese Ship

Sunday, November 18, 2007
Somali pirates on freed a Taiwanese vessel held since May, following the release a day earlier of two South Korean ships that were then sailed to Yemen under U.S. Navy escort. Andrew Mwangura, head of the East African Seafarers' Assistance Program, said the Taiwanese ship and its 12 crew, eight Kenyan and four Taiwanese, were freed from a pirate-held port north of Mogadishu. The United States Navy's Fifth Fleet, based in Bahrain, confirmed the release, and said it was providing unspecified assistance to the ship. The Taiwanese vessel went free as five U.S. warships were escorting two South Korean vessels to Yemen, after their release on Sunday after being held for five months. The two South Korean boats are registered in Tanzania's Zanzibar islands.. It said all 24 crew -- 10 Chinese, four South Koreans, four Indonesians, three Indians and three Vietnamese -- were safe. Gunmen attacked the vessels, the Mavuno 1 and Mavuno 2, off the Somali coast on May 15 as they were traveling to Yemen. Somali pirates are still holding two other craft: a Japanese-owned, Panama-flagged Golden Nori chemical tanker they seized last week and the Al Marjan cargo ship registered in Comoros. The U.S. Navy said it was monitoring those ships. Source: Reuters

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