Somali pirates release Iranian hostage

By Mohammed Dhaysane

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AA) – An Iranian hostage was released by Somali pirates after he was in the pirates’ captivity for five years, a humanitarian group seeking to release forgotten hostages in Somalia announced on Saturday.

Mohamed Sharif Panahandeh, an Iranian was held near the port town of Hobyo, Mudug region by Somali pirates, according to local media.

“We are happy to announce we have obtained the release of one of the last hostages of Somali Piracy. M Sharif from Iran was released after over five years in captivity,'' Hostage Support Partnership said in a statement on Twitter on Saturday.

Three more seafarers remain under Somali pirates' captivity and they need help to get released by the pirates, according to the group.

Somali pirates made $7 billion since 2007, and 1,000 individuals have been taken hostage since that time, according to Abdinur Ali, a senior maritime security official in Puntland who talked to Anadolu Agency in 2017.