Pirates Release Italian Cargo Ship
The NATO Shipping Centre reported that an Italian tugboat and its crew of 16, seized by pirates off the Gulf of Aden in April, have been released, according to Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini in a statement on August 9. Frattini told Sky Italia TV he had been given the news by the Somali prime minister. The ship's release was the result of "exceptional work" on the part of Somali authorities and the Italians, he said. The pirates hijacked the Italian-flagged Buccaneer on April 11 with a crew of 10 Italians, 5 Romanians and one Croatian and took it to a point close to Las Qoray, a fishing village in a disputed area of northern Somalia. The ship is now on its way to the port of Djibouti, escorted by naval vessels.