Multiple press reports said Somali pirates who had seized the Aris 13
, a small bunkering tanker, on Monday have released the ship and its crew without a ransom payment.
The hijacking of the ship
was notable because it was the first off Somalia since 2012. BBC
said that in 2011, there were 237 pirate attacks off Somalia.
The broadcaster said it was told by Abdirahman Mohamud Hassan, the director general of the Puntland Maritime Police Force, that pirates on board the tanker had “opened fire on Thursday after authorities tried to intercept a boat believed to be carrying essential supplies, such as food.”
said it had learned “four people were wounded in the exchange of fire on Thursday.”
German broadcaster Deutsche Welle said it was told by pirates that they had "captured the vessel to protest illegal fishing."
"They desperately need to show their grievances by seizing the boat," said Abdiwahab Ahmed, an elder in the coastal town of Alula.
Deutsch Welle said, "Many Somalis, including former pirates, depend on fishing to make a living. However, they are often harassed by illegal fisherman and large foreign trawlers off the country's north coast."