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Pirates grab record ransom

<b>MOGADISHU.</b> Somali pirates freed a Greek-flagged tankercarrying 2 million barrels of oil for a record ransom yesterday. Therelease of the ship came a day after the money was dropped onto its d<p></p>

MOGADISHU. Somali pirates freed a Greek-flagged tanker carrying 2 million barrels of oil for a record ransom yesterday. The release of the ship came a day after the money was dropped onto its deck.

The Maran Centaurus was seized on Nov. 29 with 16 Filipinos, nine Greeks, two Ukrainians and a Romanian on board. An aircraft dropped a ransom believed to be between $5.5 million and $7 million onto the vessel on Sunday, officials said.

“We have agreed to solve our disagreements and release the ship,” one of the pirates told Reuters by phone. Witnesses said four pirates were killed in a clash between rival groups over the cash.