ROME, Italy (CNN) -- Pirates released an Italian ship four months after they seized it, Italy's foreign minister announced Sunday.
Franco Frattini expressed his "joy at the positive outcome ... relating to the kidnapping of the merchant vessel Buccaneer and for the release" of the crew.
Somali pirates freed the vessel after months of negotiations, the ministry said.
The ministry strongly denied a ransom had been paid, but released no other details about the talks with the pirates.
The Buccaneer has a crew of 16: 10 Italians, 5 Romanians and a Croat, the ministry said. They are expected home in about two days.
The tug was seized in the Gulf of Aden on April 11, Cyrus Mody of the International Maritime Bureau told CNN.
Thank God for this long-awaited deliverance! Please continue to pray for the protection and rescue of the other ships and their crews still awaiting freedom from their captors.
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