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Somali pirates release fishing vessel

MOGADISHU, Somalia, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Somali pirates have released a Taiwanese fishing ship held captive for nearly 10 months, European Union naval forces said.

The hijackers left the vessel Thursday and the ship's crew took control, the EU forces said in a release. The Win Far 161 was hijacked April 6 about 160 miles from the Seychelles Islands.

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The 700-ton ship had a crew of 30 -- 17 Filipinos, six Indonesians, five from mainland China and two from Taiwan, China's state-run news agency, Xinhua, reported Friday. Three crew members died while in captivity, Andrew Mwangura, a coordinator with the Africa Seafarers Assistance Program, told Xinhua.

Mwangura could not confirm whether a ransom was paid to secure the vessel's release.

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