26 fishermen held since 2012 freed by Somali pirates

The crew of a fishing vessel hijacked by Somali pirates four and a half years ago is finally free after payment of a ransom, officials said.

There were 29 members on the Taiwan-owned Naham 3 fishing vessel when pirates occupied it in March 2012 and took them to the north-central Mudug region.

Three of them reportedly died of illness and mistreatment in the intervening time.

The remaining 26 members are now free, who include natives of Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India and other Asian nations.

The ship was flagged in Oman.

The pirates reportedly demanded a ransom of three million dollars, but the source said less than that had been paid.

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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