Somalia: Iranian Held By Somali Pirates Since 2015 Freed

An Iranian sailor held hostage by Somali pirates for more than four years has been released with the help of the United Nations and a humanitarian group, Iran's Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.

Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi thanked the Hostage Support Partnership group, U.N. officials in Somalia, and authorities in Somalia's semi-autonomous Puntland and in Ethiopia for their help in winning the release of Mohammad Sharif Panahandeh, the state news agency IRNA said.

Three Iranians sailors are still being held, Mousavi said.

"We are happy to announce we have obtained the release of one of the last hostages of Somali piracy ... 3 more seafarers remain who need our help," Hostage Support Partnership tweeted.

Earlier, Iranian media reports said Panahandeh was among 21 crew members of a boat hijacked in March 2015. Eight of the hostages died, five escaped, and four were freed in a security operation by Iran last year, the reports said.

Piracy off Somalia's coast has subsided in the past few years, mainly due to shipping firms hiring private security and the presence of international warships.

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: Shabelle

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 700 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.