Somali pirates free longest-held hostages after 33 months

By REUTERS
December 23, 2012 18:50

 
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BOSASSO, Somalia - A ship and its crew of 22 sailors held by Somali pirates for almost three years have been freed after a two-week-long siege by maritime police, the government of the breakaway region of Puntland said on Sunday.

The sailors aboard Panama-flagged MV Iceberg 1, from the Philippines, India, Yemen, Sudan, Ghana and Pakistan, were held for longer than any other hostages in the power of the pirates, who prey on shipping in the region, according to the president's office of the northern Somali enclave in a statement

Maritime police laid siege to the vessel on Dec. 10 near the coastal village of Gara'ad in the region of Mudug.

"After 2 years and 9 months in captivity, the hostages have suffered signs of physical torture and illness. The hostages are now receiving nutrition and medical care," said the statement.

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