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January 9, 2009

Sirius Star pirates drown in botched getaway

Several of the Somali pirates involved in the Sirius Star hijacking did not get away with their share of the loot.

Saudi Gazette quotes Abukar Haji, the uncle of one of the dead men, as saying that the boat they were in in "capsized because it was running at high speed because the pirates were afraid of an attack from the warships patrolling around."

He said that four bodies were still missing and one washed up on the shore.

An AFP report quotes a pirate identifying himself as Mohamed Said as saying that six pirates had drowned in the incident and eight had survived. AFP quotes another source as saying three pirates had swum ashore.

Saudi Gazette reports that Saudi Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Al-Naimi has confirmed that a $3 million ransom was paid to free the tanker and its 25- crew members who are safe and unhurt.

Saudi officials say the freed tanker is heading for Damman.


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