Somali pirates have freed a Yemeni cargo ship they seized last week after successful talks between regional authorities, local clan elders and the gunmen, a local official said on Wednesday. "The Yemeni ship was released last night after long discussions," Ali Abdi Aware, state minister of Somalia's northern province of Puntland, told Reuters. "It left Eyl and is heading to Yemen. The crew are safe and no ransom was paid."
The MV Amani, owned by Yemeni shipping firm Abu Talal, has seven sailors on board. It was seized on Nov. 25 as it carried 507 tonnes of steel from Yemen's Mukalla port to Socotra Island.
There have been nearly 100 attacks in Somali waters this year. The sea gangs are holding about a dozen ships and nearly 300 crew. The captured vessels include a Saudi supertanker loaded with $100 million of oil, the Sirius Star, and a Ukrainian cargo ship carrying some 30 Soviet-era tanks, the MV Faina.