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  Wednesday, October 23, 2019
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Somali pirates have released Bunga Melati 2, a Malaysian oil tanker
Somali pirates have released Bunga Melati 2, a Malaysian oil tanker hijacked in August, the Asian country's Bernama news agency said on Tuesday, citing defense ministry sources.

The vessel and its crew of 29 Malaysian and 10 Philippine nationals, was hijacked in the Gulf of Aden on August 19.

Another vessel, Bunga Melati 5, seized 10 days later in the same area, was released on Saturday.

According to reports, the vessels, owned by the Malaysian International Shipping Corporation, were released after a ransom of $2 million was paid for each ship. However, official sources refused to confirm the information.

Both ships were being escorted by Malaysian warships, the KD Lekiu and KD Sri Inderapura 2, and were expected in Djibouti, east Africa, on October 4.

Pirates are increasingly active in the waters off Somalia, which has no effective government and no navy to police its coastline. The International Maritime Bureau said more than 30 incidents of piracy were registered in the region in 2007. More than 30 attacks have been committed so far this year off the coast of Somalia.

Somali pirates are currently holding a Ukrainian ship, its crew, and its cargo of 33 tanks off the coast of the east African state.


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