Somali pirates release seven Indian sailors

Seven Indian sailors were released on Friday by Somali pirates after remaining in captivity for about four years and would come back to India over the weekend.

New Delhi/Nairobi: Seven Indian sailors were released on Friday by Somali pirates after remaining in captivity for about four years and would come back to India over the weekend.

"These seven Indians were in captivity for around four years and were released today," Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said.

"They are in Nairobi (Kenya) at the moment and will be arriving in India over the weekend," he added.

Out of these seven persons, two each are from Maharashtra and Karnataka, while one each are from Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

Reports from Kenya suggested that these sailors were captured after pirates hijacked a Panama-flagged ship MV Asphalt Venture in September 2010. Eight of their colleagues were freed by the pirates along with the ship in April 2011.

Somali pirates have been infamous for hijacking ships but the last such incident was reported in May 2012. At one point of time in 2011, more than a dozen merchant ships were being held captive and often million-dollar ransoms were sought by the pirates.

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