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26 fishermen freed after being held by Somali pirates since 2012

Tribune News Service

MOGADISHU, Somalia – The crew of a fishing vessel hijacked by Somali pirates in March 2012 was freed after payment of a ransom, officials said.

There were 29 members on the Taiwan-owned Naham 3 fishing vessel when pirates occupied it and took them to the north-central Mudug region of Somalia. Three crew members reportedly died of illness and mistreatment.

The remaining 26 members are now free. The amount of the ransom paid was not made public. The survivors include natives of Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India and other Asian nations. The ship was flagged in Oman.

The pirates reportedly demanded a ransom of $3 million. The amount paid was unknown. The money was believed to have come from the Asian countries’ governments and the hostages’ families.

The hostages were due to be flown to Kenya to prepare them for repatriation.

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