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Pirates release Malaysian tugboat after seven months

  • Story Highlights
  • The tug was taken by pirates on December 16
  • Unclear whether a ransom had been paid
  • Tug en route to safe location International Chamber of Commerce says
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(CNN) -- Somali pirates have released a Malaysian tugboat and 11 crew members after holding them for more than seven months, an international business group reported Monday.

The tug taken by pirates on December 16 has been released and is en route to a "safe location," according to ICC Commercial Crime Services -- the anti-crime arm of the International Chamber of Commerce.

The ICC said it will not release additional information until the boat and crew have reached their destination and are out of harm's way.

It was unclear whether a ransom had been paid and it was not immediately known when the ship was released.

The waters off Somalia are rife with pirate activity, despite increased measures by military forces and shipping companies to ward off attacks.

Heavily armed pirates have struck the busy Indian Ocean shipping lanes and the Gulf of Aden, which connects the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean.

They have captured dozens of vessels and hundreds of hostages, making off with millions of dollars in ransom money.

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