Somali pirates to free Egyptian ship after ransom, owner says
Somali pirates have agreed to release the Egyptian merchant ship after the company agreed to pay a ransom, the owner of the ship said.
Somali pirates have agreed to release the Egyptian merchant ship Blue Star and its crew of 28 Egyptians after the company agreed to pay a ransom, the owner of the ship said on Friday.
"It has been agreed to pay the ransom after negotiations which have gone on for days between the company and the pirates," Abdel Rahman Awwa told reporters by telephone.
He said he expected the pirates to release the ship "within hours". He did not say how much the company had agreed to pay but company sources said it was more than $3 million.
Pirates seized the Blue Star on Jan. 1 while it was sailing east with a cargo of 6,000 tonnes of the fertiliser urea.
It is one of at least eight vessels which Somali pirates have hijacked from the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean.
On Thursday pirates released a Ukrainian ship carrying tanks after receiving a ransom of $3.2 million.
In several recent contacts with their families the Egyptians aboard the Blue Star said they expected to be free soon.
One of them, engineer Ibrahim Otman, said the pirates had started to treat them better, allowing them to walk on the deck of the ship and giving them more food, Awwa said.
Reuters Last Mod: 06 Şubat 2009, 12:02