BRUSSELS, May 11, 2010 (AFP) – Pirates released a Bermudan-flagged cargo ship and its mainly Sri Lankan crew on Tuesday after a ransom was paid, the EU naval force said two months after the vessel was seized off the Oman coast. The ransom drop was made on Saturday but the pirates remained on board the ship and only left Tuesday morning, heading for the Somali coast, the EU Navfor force said in a statement.

The Talca had a crew of 20 Sri Lankans, a Syrian and a Filipino. Navfor was monitoring the ship’s progress to port, the statement said.

The ship was seized off the Oman on March 23. The pirates struck after the cargo ship had passed through an internationally recommended transit corridor which is patrolled by warships and maritime patrol aircraft from Navfor, NATO, Combined Maritime Forces and other navies.