Official sources quoted the European Union's piracy task force as saying that Somali pirates who hijacked a Syrian cargo ship with 22 Syrians and three Egyptians on board, have already left.
The task force also said that two of the ship crew members were wounded as the pirates opened fire at them.
The MV Syria Star, sailing under the flag of St. Vincent and Grenadines, was seized as it sailed through the Gulf of Aden with a cargo of sugar.
The EU said it dispatched helicopters immediately but that they were outmaneuvered by the pirates. It added that the pirates have left the ship in rescue boats and that a German medical team has reached the crew to treat wounded members.
In related news, the Red Sea Navigation Company has said that negotiations between Somali and Egyptian officials over the MV Suez, hijacked last Monday, are ongoing.
The same source said that the pirates have been unusually slow in their response, perhaps to add pressure for a larger ransom. He added that the pirates have contacts in Cairo who inform them of what is written in the Egyptian press.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.