- Advertisment -
HomeNationalSomalia questions Pakistani "hostages" found near al-Shabaab territory MIGMG News

Somalia questions Pakistani “hostages” found near al-Shabaab territory MIGMG News

- Advertisment -

Migmg news

Somali police launched an investigation on Sunday after 20 foreigners were discovered near territory controlled by the al-Shabaab militant group, claiming they were fishermen who had been held hostage for years.

Police spokesman Sadiq Dudisheh said the men — 14 Iranians and six Pakistanis — were detained for questioning after they unexpectedly wandered out of the militant-held part of Galmudug state.

“Some of these people were abducted by al-Shabaab in 2014, while others were abducted on the Hararder coast, near Qosol-tire, in southern Somalia in mid-2019,” Dudische said in a statement.

“Four of them have physical injuries,” he said.

It is unclear how the men came to be released, and police have not released further details, citing the ongoing investigation.

Local authorities in Hobio, the coastal town where the men appeared, said the foreigners had been detained for questioning.

“We are still investigating these 20 men who were detained today after they came from an area controlled by al-Shabaab,” Hobio commissioner Abdullahi Ahmed Ali told reporters.

“They claimed to be fishermen,” he added.

Al-Shabaab, which controls parts of rural Somalia, has been trying to overthrow the central government for 15 years, financing its insurgency through criminal activities including kidnapping and ransom.

Somalia has also been plagued by piracy for years, although attacks on naval vessels near the coast have fallen sharply in recent years, after peaking at 176 in 2011.

Unconfirmed reports suggest the men may have been kidnapped by pirates and handed over to al-Shabaab, an offshoot of al-Qaeda, which includes foreign fighters among its ranks.

In 2020, three Iranian fishermen believed to be the last hostages held by Somali pirates were released after five years of captivity.

- Advertisment -

Most Popular