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17 Iranian Fishermen, Sailors Escape Somali Pirates' Captivity.

TEHRAN (FNA)- 17 Iranian fishermen and sailors who had been taken hostage by the Somali pirates 5 months ago have escaped and will come back home soon, officials announced on Sunday.

"17 fishermen and sailors of Konarak (a region in Southern Iran) who had been abducted by the Somali pirates in March managed to escape from their hands last week," Director-General of Iran's Fishery Organization Mosen Ali Golshani told FNA on Sunday.

"The Iranian officials' efforts to free them continued (since their abduction) but we were informed that they had managed to escape from the Somali pirates' captivity using stormy weather and were rescued by a European warship," he said.

Golshani said efforts are underway to transfer the fishers' boat to Iran by the weekend through cooperation with the Iranian Navy.

The Iranian Navy has been conducting anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008, when Somali raiders hijacked the Iranian-chartered cargo ship, MV Delight, off the coast of Yemen.

According to UN Security Council resolutions, different countries can send their warships to the Gulf of Aden and coastal waters of Somalia against the pirates and even with prior notice to Somali government enter the territorial waters of that country in pursuit of Somali sea pirates.

The Gulf of Aden - which links the Indian Ocean with the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea - is an important energy corridor, particularly because Persian Gulf oil is shipped to the West via the Suez Canal.

In relevant remarks last week, Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari announced that his forces deployed in the high seas had escorted at least 22 foreign cargo ships so far.

Sayyari said that his forces had so far had nearly 200 clashes with pirates in their anti-piracy missions and escorted 22 foreign ships.

He further pointed to providing security and safety of the Gulf of Aden and Bab al-Mandeb by the Iranian Navy, and said that Navy had provided safe passage for Iranian shipping lines in the Gulf of Aden and Bab el-Mandeb and the Red Sea.

"About 2,000 trade ships and oil tankers have so far been escorted by the (Iranian) Navy's fleets of warships," the Iranian commander went on to say.

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Publication:FARS News Agency
Date:Aug 30, 2015
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