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Rescued Indian sailors return home after 32-month ordeal

December 29, 2012 19:58 IST
After nearly 32 months of being held captive on board the cargo ship MV Iceberg, five Indians sailors released by Somali pirates returned home on Saturday.

Among those who were released due to India's efforts were two Pakistani sailors who were dropped off the Oman coast.

The rescued sailors reached the IGI airport on Sunday afternoon and were received by External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid there.

"We have worked in a step-by-step manner and proceeded with the operation quietly and successfully and rescued them along with the Pakistani sailors," Khurshid told reporters.

The two Pakistani sailors would head back home.

"We have been co-operating with our neighbouring countries irrespective of borders and we are resolved to get all such hostages released as soon as possible," said the external affairs minister.

Khurshid added there are 37 more Indians held as hostages in various places and efforts are being made to bring them back home safe.

MV Iceberg, registered in Panama, had been seized by Somali pirates off the Yemen coast in March 2010.

The families of the captive sailors had earlier met the Shipping Minister G K Vasan to secure their release.
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