Hijacked cargo ship, MV Orna, has finally been released by Somali pirates after being held in captivity for almost two years. Unfortunately, six crewmembers are reportedly still being held hostage.
A pirate commander stated that a $600,000 ransom was paid on Friday in order to free the ship. The six hostages are being held on lands by two rival Somali pirate groups who were clashing over ransom demands. Back in August of this year, the attackers killed one crewman after ransom payments were delayed; the incident is believed to be the first time Somali pirates have killed a hostage as a tactic to speed up ransom payments.
Other ships had to tow the cargo vessel away because it had run out of fuel.
The MV Orna, which is owned by a UAE company, was hijacked 400 nautical miles northeast of the Seychelles in December 2010. Only 13 of the 19 crew held aboard the ship since December 2010 are on their way home.
Indian Ocean pirate hijackings are down drastically this year thanks to improved on-board defenses, but pirates still hold six ships and some 170 crew members, according to an OCEANUSLive report.