26 Crewmen Freed From Somali Pirate Captivity After 19 Months


A Chinese naval ship has come to the rescue of the crew of a Taiwanese trawler that was held in captivity by Somali pirates for almost 19 months. Taiwan’s foreign ministry, as well as China’s, was able to confirm that the 26-man crew was released after ransom negotiations – although it was not clear on whether a ransom was actually paid.

The hostages were unable to leave because their vessel had run aground. The Shiuh Fu No 1 was seized off the coast of Madagascar in December 2010 before being taken to Somalia, according to BBC News. The crew is comprised of 13 Chinese and 12 Vietnamese nationals, as well as a Taiwanese captain.

The Chinese Navy has brought the rescued men to Tanzania. A rescue operation was not detailed as of yet.

The European Union, various international anti-piracy organizations, NATO countries, and all sorts of military vessels are joined together in a multi-national effort to put a damper on maritime piracy and protect shipping in the Gulf of Aden and nearby sections of the Indian Ocean.

More than two decades of war in Somalia have left the country without a fully-functioning government, making it hard for them to deal with piracy. As the assailants have expanded their operations, they are using bigger ships and equipment funded by the large ransoms paid for the release of hostages. Currently, about seven other hijacked vessels, and dozens of crew members are believed to be in captivity.





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