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As we reported, after a five-year absence, Somali pirates returned to the high seas on Monday, hijacking the Comorros-flagged Aris 13. Following a gunfight with marine forces from Puntland and negotiations between marines, pirates and clan elders, the ship and its eight Sri Lankan crewmembers were released yesterday, with no ransom being paid. The pirates said they forewent a ransom after learning that Somali businessmen had hired the ship to take oil from Djibouti to Mogadishu. According to The Guardian, pirates have traditionally been wary of tangling with Somalia’s powerful businessmen. And the result of this latest incident will be seen as a success for the regional Puntland government and its counter-piracy force, which is funded by the United Arab Emirates. On the BBC World Service, a spokesperson claiming to represent the pirates said the hijacking had not been conducted to raise money but for environmental reasons.

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