Somali pirates have released an Egyptian cargo ship, MV Suez, after receiving payment of $2.1 million, pirates and a maritime source said.
The Panama-flagged ship, operated by Red Sea Navigation Company based in Egypt's Port Said, was seized in early August last year, with a crew of 23.
A pirate who gave his name as Ali told Reuters late on Monday they had received the ransom and they had left the ship.
Andrew Mwangura, maritime editor of The Somalia Report, confirmed the release from the Kenyan port city of Mombasa.
"She is steaming out of Somali waters," Mwangura told Reuters by telephone, also confirming that a ransom was paid.
Somali pirates have been preying on ships sailing in the waters off the lawless horn of Africa country and in the Gulf of Aden, raking in millions of dollars and driving up shipping costs.