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Somali pirates release 26 Asian sailors held captive since 2012

They were captured near Seychelles in February 2012. (Representative image ; Wikipedia) Photograph: (Others)

WION Mogadishu, Banaadir, Somalia Oct 22, 2016, 04.33 PM (IST)

 Somali pirates on Saturday freed 26 Asian sailors they had held captive in a small fishing village for more than four years, according to government officials, Reuters reporte

The sailors are from  China, the Philippines, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Taiwan . They were captured near Seychelles in February 2012.

"The crew is here (in Galkayo). They will be flown to the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, on Saturday," local mayor Hirsi Yusuf Barre, told Reuters.

Barre told Reuters that the ship's captain was killed in the hijacking and two others died from illness during their time in captivity , one of the longest among hostages seized by pirates in the Horn of Africa nation.

"The crew did not say if ransom was paid," he added.

According to Reuters, the sailors were held in Dabagala some 400 km (250 miles) northeast of the capital Mogadishu, a hamlet  known to be Somalia's main pirate base when pirate attacks were rampant in waters linking Europe with Africa and Asia.

 

(WION with inputs from Reuters)

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