July 20th, 2010
04:24 PM ET

Somali pirates release two ships

Somali pirates Tuesday released two hijacked ships that have been held for more than four months, the European Union anti-piracy task force announced.

The Sakoba, a fishing boat, was hijacked March 3, and the UBT Ocean - a chemical tanker - was seized two days later, EU's Naval Force-Somalia said in a statement.

The Sakoba is Kenyan-flagged. Details about its crew were not immediately available.

The UBT Ocean is Marshall Islands-flagged and has a crew of 21 from Myanmar, which is also known as Burma.

The waters around the Horn of Africa, especially off the coast of lawless Somalia, have become a hub for piracy, making the busy shipping routes among the most dangerous in the world.

The anti-piracy task force, which is made up of vessels and forces from several European countries, protects vulnerable ships in the region.

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