Over 20 Asian hostages who were taken nearly five years ago by Somali pirates have finally been released.

The Asian hostages who were released

The Asian hostages who were released Photo Credit: CNN/Channel 2 News

Somali pirates released 26 hostages who were taken when a ship was hijacked near the Seychelles in 2012. 29 crew members were on the Naham 3 ship when it was hijacked by the pirates. One of the crew members was killed during the hijacking and two more died from diseases during their captivity, according to an organization that was involved in the negotiations that led to the release of the hostages after almost five years of captivity.

John Steed, a retired British Army officer who was in charge of coordinating the negotiations that lasted 18 months, announced that the crew members have been released. “They are all malnourished,” stated Steed. “Four are currently receiving medical treatment.” However, Steed said that their condition is reasonable considering what they experienced.

The crew members are all men from Cambodia, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam. Steed refused to reveal the details of the deal that led to the crew members’ release. Steed said that the crew members will be returned to their countries of origin.