Page last updated at 15:32 GMT, Sunday, 28 February 2010

Somalia pirates free Greek cargo vessel

Somali pirate (file image)
Piracy has made Somali waters among the world's most dangerous

Somali pirates have freed a Greek-owned cargo ship and its crew of 19 after a ransom was paid, officials say.

The Navios Apollon was seized north of the Seychelles on 28 December as it headed from the US to India with a cargo of fertiliser.

The Greek captain and 18 Filipino crewmen were all safe and the vessel was heading to Oman and then India.

The ransom - an unspecified amount - was airdropped onto the vessel on Saturday, a Greek official said.

An international naval force patrolling the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean has been unable to stop attacks on commercial vessels from pirates based in Somalia.

Most vessels are released once a ransom is paid.

Correspondents say the upsurge in piracy in the region is a consequence of the failure to find a solution to Somalia's continuing political disarray.

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