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Somali pirates release ship after ransom payment

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Somali pirates release British chemical tanker EU Naval Force says
  • Ship released after ransom payment was made, EU authorities say
  • Officials did not disclose amount of ransom paid to pirates
  • Ship was hijacked last December in Gulf of Aden en route to Thailand
  • Somalia
  • Pirates

(CNN) -- Somali pirates have released a British chemical tanker after receiving a ransom payment, the European Union Naval Force said Friday.

The St. James Park tanker was safely on its way after ransom was delivered Thursday, the force said. It had been anchored in Garacad, Somalia.

Officials did not say how much ransom was paid or where the ship was headed.

The ship was on its way to Thailand on December 28, 2009, when pirates hijacked it in the Gulf of Aden, a body of water between Somalia and Yemen, the naval force said.

Twenty-six crew members were onboard -- including Bulgarians, Filipinos, Georgians, Indians, Poles, Romanians, Russians, Turks and Ukrainians, according to the naval force.