Heading home after years in captivity - Seven Indian sailors released by Somali pirates
(Seychelles News Agency) - Seven Indian sailors were flown to the Somali Capital of Mogadishu from the coastal town of Harardhere today after they were freed more than four years after being kidnapped by Somali pirates.
According to AFP the news was confirmed by the area governor Hussein Ali Weheliye.
"They have suffered hardships both mentally and physically but they are finally free, thanks to the Somali government and other external actors," Ali Weheliye was quoted as saying in the AFP report.
It is not clear where or when exactly the seven sailors including the captain of the boat they were in, were taken hostage.
According to AFP, an elder and resident of the town said that a ransom was paid to free the hostages.
It is believed that following the release of the seven Indian sailors at least 30 foreign nationals mostly fishermen remain in the hands of Somali pirates.
The news of the latest release of sailors kidnapped by Somali pirates has been welcomed by delegates attending the fourth Counter-Piracy Conference in Dubai which started yesterday.
The Seychelles Minister of Home Affairs and Transport, Joel Morgan, who is also the chairperson of the High Level Committee for Piracy and the REFLECS3 (Regional Fusion and Law Enforcement Centre for Safety and Security at Sea) steering group, is leading the Seychelles delegation at the conference.
Before the event kicked off the United Arab Emirates’ Foreign Minister Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan called on the international community to shift its anti-piracy efforts to finding solutions to the root causes of piracy while warning against complacency after pirate attacks on vessels crossing the Indian Ocean via the Suez Canal have been brought down to almost zero.