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World News

FACTBOX - Ships held by Somali pirates

(Reuters) - Somali pirates took a $3 million (1 million pound) ransom and freed a Saudi supertanker on Friday seized last November in the world’s biggest ship hijacking, an associate of the gang said.

Pirates released the Turkish cargoship 82,849 dwt Yasa Neslihan earlier this week after its owners paid a ransom. The bulk carrier was carrying 77,000 tonnes of iron ore from Canada to China with 20 crew aboard when it was hijacked last October.

Below are some of the ships believed to be still held:

FAINA: Seized September 24. The ship was carrying 33 T-72 tanks, grenade launchers and ammunition destined for Kenya’s Mombasa port. Pirates have demanded $20 million in ransom.

AFRICAN SANDERLING: Seized October 15. The Panama-flagged, Japanese-operated, and Korea-owned bulk carrier has 21 Filipino crew aboard.

STOLT STRENGTH: Seized November 10. The chemical tanker had 23 Filipino crew aboard. It was carrying 23,818 tonnes of oil products.

THE KARAGOL: Seized November 12. The Turkish ship with 14 crew was hijacked off Yemen. It was transporting more than 4,000 tonnes of chemicals to the port of Mumbai.

TIANYU 8: Seized November 13/14. The Chinese fishing boat was reported seized off Kenya. The crew included 15 Chinese, one Taiwanese, one Japanese, three Filipinos and four Vietnamese.

CHEMSTAR VENUS: Seized November 15. The tanker was travelling from Dumai, Indonesia to the Ukraine. It had 18 Filipino and five South Korean crew.

THE DELIGHT: Seized November 18. The Hong Kong-flagged ship with 25 crew aboard was loaded with 36,000 tonnes of wheat bound for Iran. It was captured off the coast of Yemen.

BISCAGLIA: Seized on November 28. The Biscaglia, a Liberian-flagged chemical tanker, had 30 crew on board, 25 Indians, three Britons and two Bangladeshis. NAMES UKNOWN: Seized on December 10. Pirates hijacked two Yemeni fishing vessels with a total of 22 crew members on board in coastal waters in the Gulf of Aden. Five crew reportedly escaped.

NAMES UNKNOWN: Seized on December 16. A yacht with two on board, an Indonesian tugboat used by French oil company Total and a 100-metre (330-ft) cargo ship belonging to an Istanbul-based shipping company were hijacked. Pirates had also hijacked the Chinese fishing vessel Zhenhua-4 with 30 Chinese crew aboard but it was freed the next day.

BLUE STAR: Seized on January 1, 2009. The Egyptian merchant ship was sailing east with a cargo of 6,000 tonnes of urea, a product used as a fertiliser. It had 28 Egyptian crew aboard.

Sources: Reuters/International Maritime Bureau Piracy Reporting Centre/Lloyds List/Inquirer.net

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