So­mali pi­rates free 26 sailors held since 2012

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

MOGADISHU: So­mali pi­rates have freed 26 Asian sailors held cap­tive in a small fish­ing vil­lage for more than four years since their ship was hi­jacked in the In­dian Ocean, gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials and a mar­itime ex­pert said on Satur­day.

The sailors from China, the Philip­pines, Cam­bo­dia, In­done­sia, Viet­nam and Tai­wan were seized when the Omani-flagged FV Na­ham 3 was hi­jacked close to the Sey­chelles in March 2012, when pi­rate at­tacks were com­mon in the area.

“The crew is stay­ing overnight in Galkayo,” John Steed, East Africa re­gion man­ager for the Oceans Be­yond Piracy group, said.

“The crew did not say if ran­som was paid,” Hirsi Yusuf Barre, mayor of Galkayo in north­ern So­ma­lia, said.

Their pe­riod of cap­tiv­ity is one of the long­est among hostages seized by pi­rates in the anar­chic Horn of Africa na­tion.

Steed said one mem­ber of the crew had died dur­ing the hi­jack­ing while two suc­cumbed to ill­ness.

Among those re­leased, one was be­ing treated for a gun­shot wound on his foot and three were di­a­betic.

The sailors were held in Daba­gala near the town of Harard­heere some 400km north­east of the cap­i­tal Mogadishu. Harard­heere be­came known as So­ma­lia’s main pi­rate base at the height of the crisis.

The Oceans Be­yond Piracy group said the crew were brought ashore by pi­rates when their ship sank more than a year af­ter its hi­jack­ing.

Piracy off So­ma­lia’s coast has sub­sided in the past three years, mainly due to ship­ping firms hir­ing pri­vate se­cu­rity de­tails and the pres­ence of in­ter­na­tional war­ships. – Reuters

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.