Somali Pirates Release Belgian Ship, Crew

By: CNN
By: CNN
A Belgian ship and its crew captured by Somali pirates two months ago have been released, the Belgium government said Sunday.

In this undated photo provided by the Belgian government, the Belgian ship Pompei, owned by De Nul, is shown in unidentified waters. On Saturday, April 18, 2009 the Belgian government reported that a Belgian ship may have been attacked by pirates of the east African coast. It said the ship, the Pompei, gave two warnings early this morning that it was under attack off the east African coast on its way to the Seychelles. (AP Photo/Belgian Government)

(CNN) -- A Belgian ship and its crew captured by Somali pirates two months ago have been released, the Belgium government said Sunday.

The Pompei was hijacked north of the Seychelles on April 18. The crew of 10 was made up of two Belgians, one Dutch, four Croatians and three Filipinos.

No other information was available.

Piracy has been soaring off the coast of eastern Africa, particularly Somalia, which has not had an effective government since 1991.

Somali pirates have defied foreign navies patrolling the waters and have collected large ransoms from shipping companies. Ransoms started out in the tens of thousands of dollars and have since climbed into the millions.

The Gulf of Aden, off the northern coast of Somalia, has the highest risk of piracy in the world. About 25,000 ships use the channel south of Yemen, between the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea.


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