21/07/06 (B359-A) Les pirates somaliens libèrent 20 otages qu’ils avaient capturé en mars dernier. Mais les conditions de la négociation n’ont pas été rendues publiques.(BBC Anglais / info lecteur)

Somali pirates free captives

Pirates in Somalia who kidnapped about 20 seamen in March have released them, according to official reports.

The kidnapped Filipinos were on their way home, officials for the Philippines said Monday.

Roy Cimatu, the government’s special envoy to the Middle East, said that the men had been freed on Saturday.

He said that it was not clear whether any ransom had been paid.

The men were seized after their oil tanker, the United Arab Emirates-registered MT LIN1, unloaded its cargo at a port in southern Somalia on March 29, the Philippine foreign affairs department said.

Cimatu said the owners of the ship, who were not identified, negotiated for the release of the men. No other details were provided.