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Pirates release cargo vessel with 10 Ukrainian crewmembers

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The U.K.-flagged Asian Glory vehicle carrier with 25 crew members, including 10 Ukrainians, that was captured by Somali pirates in January, has been released.

The U.K.-flagged Asian Glory vehicle carrier with 25 crew members, including 10 Ukrainians, that was captured by Somali pirates in January, has been released, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said.

Asian Glory, with a cargo of cars bound for Saudi Arabia, was hijacked on the evening of February 1 some 600 nautical miles (1,100 kilometers) off the coast of Somalia.

"Our sailors were freed and their lives saved thanks to efforts of the Foreign Ministry, Ukrainian diplomatic agencies abroad, other departments and Zodiac Maritime Agencies Ltd., the company that owns the vessel," the ministry said in a statement on Friday night.

The ministry, however, did not specify whether a ransom was paid to the pirates for the release of the vessel.

According to statistics from the International Maritime Bureau, pirates attacked 217 ships and hijacked 47 in 2009. They received over $60 million in ransom, the largest payment on record.

KIEV, June 12 (RIA Novosti)

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