Somali pirates release Panama-flagged ship; ransom reported

April 12, 2012 15:57

HARGEISA - Somali pirates have released a Panama-flagged vessel they seized two months ago allowing it to continue on its way to the breakaway enclave of Somaliland, the ship's agent and a government official said on Thursday.

Pirates hijacked the MV Leila in February near Oman, seizing the ship with its cargo of goods and cars, and then sailing it to the semi-autonomous region of Puntland in Somalia.

The vessel was en route to Somaliland at the time and the pirates said they would impound it until fellow pirates being held in the enclave's jails were released.

On Thursday, Mohamed Osman, the head of Somaliland's anti-piracy task force, told Reuters the ship had been released.

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