Somali Hijack Saga Ends: Eight Sri Lankan Crew Released Without Incident Or Ransom 

 

The eight Sri Lankans aboard the Aria 13 that was hijacked on Monday were released without incident or ransom this morning.

The release came after the ship was surrounded by Puntland Marine Forces who opened fire at oil tanker prompting the Somali pirates to ask for an end to the firing. 

The Somali pirates had relayed the message to stop firing through the Sri Lankan crew who contacted Sri Lankan media to relay the message.  

Sri Lanka's Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister had then contacted Puntland authorities asking them to cease firing at the oil tanker. 

The Sri Lankan crew were subsequently released by the Somali pirates without incident or ransom. 

Reports say the eight will be back in Sri Lankan early next week.

Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Harsha de Silva, in a statement posted on Facebook, said he was relived the pirate saga had ended.

‘Pirate saga ends! Happy to report our efforts paid off and all Sri Lankan crew is safe,’ he wrote.

‘We thank the President of Puntland Region Mr Gaas and his Chief of Staff Mr Abdinasir Sofe who continuously communicated with us to defuse the escalation that saw shots being fired.

We appreciate the understanding that led to a negotiated settlement. We thank the US government for helping us establish contact between us and the Puntland Presidency and all others who helped. Relieved!’

 

 

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