Hijacked German Ship Freed, No Bulgarians Aboard

Politics » DIPLOMACY | September 9, 2010, Thursday // 13:12
Bulgaria: Hijacked German Ship Freed, No Bulgarians Aboard Heavy seas in the last few months have seen a sharp decline in the number of piracy attacks off the Horn of Africa nation. Photo by EPA/BGNES

There are no Bulgarian nationals aboard the German cargo ship, sailing under the flag of Antigua and Barbuda, which was hijacked by Somali pirates on Wednesday, the foreign ministry announced.

Meanwhile the German container ship Magellan Star was freed on Thursday after a standoff between Somali pirates and international naval forces.

No further details on how the release of the vessel was secured were immediately available.

Nick Davis, of the UK-based Merchant Maritime Warfare Centre, said half-a-dozen pirates boarded the boat on Wednesday and the 11 crew members locked themselves into a safe room.

"The vessel was then surrounded by the military yesterday afternoon," he told the German Press Agency.

The news comes shortly after pirates hijacked a Maltese-flagged merchant vessel off the coast of Somalia. The MV OLIB G was seized while it was sailing west in the internationally recommended transit corridor through the Gulf of Aden, EU NAVFOR said. The vessel has 18 crew members, 15 Georgians and 3 Turks.

Heavy seas in the last few months have seen a sharp decline in the number of piracy attacks off the Horn of Africa nation.

Earlier this summer eight Bulgarian sailors from "Asian Glory," and anther five aboard the St. James Park tanker, who were held in captivity for more than four months, were released.

The 15-member, all Bulgarian crew of the Bulgarian-flagged ship MV Panega however remains in the hands of the Somali pirates.

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Tags: Somali, somali pirates, ship, hijacked, Asian Glory, MV Panega, St. James Park
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