(Xinhua) -- Oceans Beyond Piracy, a
privately funded and independent non-profit organization, announced
late Thursday on its Twitter account that pirated Aris 13 oil tanker
is now free and the crew are safe.
John Steed, a former
British army officer with the NGO, also confirmed the release and
said the ship is proceeding to Bossaso, a port city in the Bari
region of Puntland state in northeastern Somalia.
Pirates on Monday hijacked an oil tanker with eight crew from Sri
Lanka off the coast of Somalia, the first hijacking of a large
merchant vessel by Somali pirates since 2012.
Local media said the release occurred after negotiations by local
elders and officials with the pirates.
The details of the
negotiations could not be disclosed yet.
Earlier Thursday, fighting broke out between Puntland anti-pirate
forces and armed pirates.
The hijacking came against a backdrop of reduced piracy
activities in Somalia.
EU Naval Force (Somalia)
Confirms Fuel Tanker Aris 13 and Crew Are
Safe and on Their Way to Safe Port After Armed Pirates Depart
The EU Naval Force (Somalia) can confirm that fuel
tanker Aris 13 and her crew are now en route to a safe port on the
north coast of Somalia after armed pirates, who had been holding the
crew since Monday 13 March 2017, departed the ship.
The master confirmed that his crew had suffered no injuries
during their 4-day ordeal.
It is understood that members of the Puntland Maritime Police
Force assisted with the ship’s release and are currently on board.
Further details about the release are still to be confirmed.
One dead, four injured as Somali pirates fight with
Comoros-flagged tanker 'Aris 13' is being held by Somalia
Somalia pirates detain small oil tanker on heading for Mogadishu
Attack reinforces the need for vessels to follow
Best Management Practices