Somali pirates released the Yemeni cargo ship hijacked late last month in the Gulf of Aden without ransom, officials said Wednesday.
The Yemini-owned cargo ship, MV Amani, with its seven crew members -- three Somalis, two Panamanians, and two Yemenis -- was released overnight on Tuesday after negotiations with the pirates holding it, Ali Abdi Aware, local official of the Somali region of Puntland, told Xinhua.
"Elders from the pirates' clan have been negotiating with them for the past days and have been successful in persuading their boys to let go the Yemeni ship without the need for a ransom payment," Aware said.
The MV Amani laden with steel, was hijacked in November in the Gulf of Aden by Somali pirates who attacked it as it travelled from the Yemeni port of Mukalla towards the southern Island of Socotra.
The ship was moored of the Somali port of Eyl, pirate strong- hold in Puntland, since it was abducted.
Yemeni ambassador to Somalia has travelled to the region with Somali president Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed to push for the release of the ship which is partly owned by Somali businessmen.
Nearly 100 ships have been attacked off the coast of the war- torn Horn of African country while nearly 40 of them have been hijacked with nearly half of that figure, including the giant Saudi oil tanker and the weapons laden-Ukrainian cargo ship, still in the hands of Somali pirates.
(Xinhua News Agency December 3, 2008)