All 36 crew members of a Basque owned fishing boat hijacked by Somali pirates have been freed.
The owners of the trawler Alakrana are reported to have agreed to pay a ransom of nearly three million euros. The Spanish Prime Minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero made this announcement at a televised news conference. “The fishing boat Alakrana is sailing into safer waters, all crew members are safe and sound. It is a very good news for which we all have been working since the first day,” he said. The hijackers, who had been holding the tuna boat for six weeks, are also demanding two fellow pirates being held in Madrid are set free. The two men in custody were captured by Spanish naval forces a day after the hijacking. Their motor launch was intercepted after they left the trawler and headed for shore. A Spanish judge has now ruled they should be tried within the next two weeks, paving the way for an early extradition. The Alakrana is now said to heading for the Seychelles.