After touting the capture of eight suspected pirates caught attempting to board a Tanzanian-flagged freighter last month, Combined Maritime Forces said that the suspects were released over the weekend in northern Somalia.

After a failed attempt to hijack the freighter MV Barakaale about 150 miles east of Aden, Yemen, the suspects were taken into custody and held for 28 days aboard the destroyer USS Farragut. They were not placed under arrest.

Officials, who did not provide an expert who could be interviewed for the story, offered few details on the suspects’ release, which occured Saturday.

In an e-mail to Stars and Stripes, Royal Navy Lt. Cmdr. Francesca Woodman, a CMF spokeswoman, said the suspects were taken to “a location far enough away from a populated area to better ensure the safety of coalition forces, but also a location where there was a settlement easily within walking distance to ensure their safe return.”

CMF officials offered no information as to whether or not Somali officials were aware that coalition forces were bringing suspected pirates to their shore.

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