Somali pirates free 4 Pinoys

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THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirmed on Thursday that four Filipino seafarers from Danish vessel MV Leopard, who were held captive by Somali pirates for more than two years, have been freed.

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Raul Hernandez, Foreign Affairs spokesman, said in a press briefing that the Filipinos and two other crew members were released on April 30.

“They were brought to the hospital for medical check up and they are found to be in good condition,” he said.

The crew members of MV Leopard will be brought to the United States military base in Djibouti before they will be repatriated to their respective countries.

“The crew were able to contact their family,” Hernandez added.

MV Leopard was commandeered by pirates on January 12, 2011. Reports said the pirates decided to release the hostages after an undisclosed amount of ransom was paid.

During their captivity, the hostages stayed on land since the pirates damaged the vessel and left it adrift on the sea. In some instances, the hostages were even allowed to talk with their families.

Bernice Camille V. Bauzon

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