'Deal' to free Ukraine cargo ship

Somali pirates said to agree on ransom to free ship carrying T-72 tanks to Kenya.

    The Biscaglia, a Liberian-flagged oil tanker, is the latest ship seized from the Gulf of Aden [AFP]

    At the time when they captured the Ukrainian vessel, pirates had demanded $20 million in ransom. However, reports remain unclear as to how much Ukrainian officials will pay for its release.

    Sugule Ali, a spokesman for the pirates who captured the ship, said: "I can't tell you what the ransom is, but what I can say is that an agreement has finally been reached.

    "We have no doubt this problem will be resolved and I hope the owners will honour the last remaining points."

    Ali said said on Tuesday they had lowered their ransom demand to $3 million.

    Supertanker hijacking

    In another high-profile hijacking, pirates forcibly boarded the Sirius Star on November 15.

    The Saudi supertanker was loaded with oil worth $100 million and its capture is the biggest in the history of maritime hijacking.

    Pirates holding the Sirius Star said on Saturday they were hoping for a "favourable" response to their $25 million ransom demand, ahead of a deadline which expires on Sunday.

    Mohammed Said, the leader of the group that seized the ship, said negotiations to free the vessel were ongoing, but he did not know when they would conclude.

    Different route

    Shipping firms have opted to re-route to the Cape of Good Hope because of the seizure of several ships across the Gulf of Aden, causing delays and increasing costs.

    Ethiopia had called for stronger international action against piracy off the coast of Somalia.

    Despite the presence of foreign navies in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, hijackers have defied them and seized ships, the latest being the Biscaglia, a Liberia-flagged oil and chemical tanker which had been captured on Friday.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'If she never remembered me again': Loving someone with dementia

    'If she never remembered me again': Loving someone with dementia

    'I imagined there were thousands of such thoughts in that room, clinging to the ceiling like helium balloons.'

    What it means to love a dead child

    What it means to love a dead child

    You must forget all you thought you knew about grief when the landscape of your life has been demolished.

    'Butchered': The Kenyan FGM clinic serving Europeans

    'Butchered': The Kenyan FGM clinic serving Europeans

    Kenya banned FGM in 2011, but Europeans still bring their daughters to underground clinics there to be cut.