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Monday, October 24, 2016

Hostages regain freedom nearly 5 years after they were kidnapped by Somali pirates

26 members of a fishing crew have tasted freedom for the first time after they were kidnapped by Somali pirates when the ship they were travelling in was hijacked south of the Seychelles in March 2012. 29 people were kidnapped but three men died in captivity according to the organization involved in mediation efforts, Oceans Beyond Piracy.

The hostages were all men from Cambodia, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam, it said. They were aboard the Omani-flagged fishing vessel Naham 3 when they were taken captive.

John Steed of Oceans Beyond Piracy said the crew of Naham 3 was released Saturday without providing information on terms or conditions of their release, or whether any ransom was paid.

They will be repatriated using a UN flight and sent to their home countries, he said in a statement. "They are reported to be in reasonable condition considering their ordeal," Steed said. "They are all malnourished. Four are currently receiving medical treatment." According to steed, the hostages are the second longest- held hostages by Somali pirates. The longest-held hostages are four crew members of the FV Prantalay 12 vessel who were released two months shy of five years in captivity.

Somali pirates seized them at sea in April 2010 and released them in February 2015.

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