Pirates in central Somalia release 7 Indian hostages
Mogadishu (Harar24) – Somali pirates have released seven Indian sailors who were held as hostages by them for four years in central Somalia, as witnesses told Harar24.
The hostages who were held between the Galgadud and Mudug regions, were captured by the pirates who demanded the exchange of fellow pirates in return for the release of the Indian sailors, despite the fact that they let the ship which was carrying them go after receiving ransom money.
The Indian hostages, who numbered seven in total, were brought to the town of Dhusamareb, where local authorities received them from the pirates. Preparations were being made to fly the sailors to Mogadishu to be eventually flown to their country, as locals told Harar24. It isn’t clear yet however if the sailors release was secured by payment or by exchange of captives as the pirates demanded.
The release of the Indians comes shortly after the Somali government released the notorious pirate leader, Mohamed Osman “Garfanjo”, after being held by intelligence service in Mogadishu. It’s not clear if the release of Garfanjo is related to the release of the Indian sailors in any way. Somali pirates who are active in the regions of central Somalia and Puntland are said to still hold around thirty hostages, most which are believed to be of Asian origins.