Four Cambodia sailors rescued after being held hostage by Somali pirates for nearly five years returned home Sunday night.
They were among 26 Asian seafarers who were released by Somali pirates on Oct. 22 after being held since their fishing vessel was hijacked in March 2012.
The sailors exited from a flight from Nairobi, Kenya to Manila, the Philippines, and to Phnom Penh International Airport. They were transported out of the airport by a van organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
At the airport, the seamen just briefly told reporters that they were “very happy to be able to return to Cambodia”.
An Omani-flagged fishing vessel FV Naham 3 was hijacked south of the Seychelles in March 2012. Of the original 29-member crew, one sadly died in a scuffle with the pirates when the hijacking took place and two more succumbed to illness during their captivity, reports said.
The remaining 26 crew members, from Cambodia, China, the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam, spent much of their captivity on land in Somalia until they were freed last week.