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RPT-Pirate sources say Norwegian ship to be freed

MOGADISHU, April 10 (Reuters) - Somali pirate sources said on Friday that the Norwegian-owned, 23,000-tonne MT Bow Asir tanker captured at the end of March would be released shortly after a $2.4 million ransom was agreed with its owners.

"After much bargaining, my friends reached a $2.4 million ransom deal with the Norwegian ship held near Hobyo," a pirate in nearby Haradheere port told Reuters.

A regional official confirmed the deal, saying he expected the ship -- with its 27 crew including a Norwegian captain, 19 Filipinos, five Poles, one Russian and one Lithuanian -- to be released later on Friday or Saturday. (Reporting by Abdi Guled; Writing by Andrew Cawthorne; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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