Somali pirates release oil tanker and crew

Somali pirates have released a hijacked oil tanker and its eight Sri Lankan crew, according to Somali security official and the pirates, bringing the first hijacking since 2012 to a conclusion, apparently without the payment of a ransom.

Thursday’s release followed a gun battle earlier in the day between the pirates and the marine force, and then intensive negotiations between the marine force, clan elders and the pirates.

The hijacking was the first time Somali pirates have taken over a commercial ship since 2012 and followed an outpouring of anger by locals over foreign fishermen flooding into their waters.

The Somalis are also angry with their government for licensing some of the ships.