Pirates Free Italian Ship, Crew; All Safe

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ROME, July 29 (UPI) — An Italian oil tanker seized by pirates off the coast of Benin was back in safe waters after its captors abandoned the ship, officials in Rome said.

“The crew members on board are all safe,” the captain of the RBD Anema e Core told ANSA, the Italian news agency.

Officials said pirates abandoned the tanker and its 23 crew members late Thursday. The ship was on its way to a “secure position.”

The vessel belongs to the Italian shipping company RBD Armatori, which is based in the southern port town of Torre del Greco in the province of Naples.

Pirates hijacked the tanker Monday as it crossed the Gulf of Nigeria.

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