Somalia: Freed pirates probably died

By on May 13, 2010
The ten Somali pirates captured by the Russian navy last week may have perished after their release. Marines seized them during an operation to free a hijacked Russian oil tanker far from shore.

Russia initially said the 10 pirates would be taken to Moscow to face criminal charges, but, and at Western officials’ surprise, were released instead. Now there is even more surprise, the pirates were set adrift in the Indian Ocean to make their own way home.
The tanker, the Moscow University, was seized on the 5th of May, some 350 km off the Yemeni island of Socotra, as it sailed for China. And the Marines from the Russian warship stormed the Tanker the following day, freeing the 23 Russian crew members who had locked themselves in a safe room after disabling their ship. “The Russian navy had been within its rights to release the suspects”, the spokesman for the E.U “Navforce” in Somalia said.
He suggested also that the loss of navigational equipment would not necessarily be critical if there was an experienced mariner among the 10 men on the boat, noting that pirates had been known to operate up to 2200 km from the Somali coast.

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