Somalia’s Puntland State releases 78 Iranian sailors

The semi-autonomous government of Somalia’s northeastern state of Puntland has released 78 Iranian sailors, a senior official at Iran’s Foreign Ministry says.

The Iranian sailors were released following several meeting between the Iranian Foreign Ministry and Somali officials, said Deputy Foreign Minister for Consular, Parliamentary and Iranian Expatriates Affairs Hassan Qashqavi on Wednesday.

The Iranian sailors returned home on Tuesday and their five confiscated vessels have also been returned, Qashqavi added.

Puntland has been transformed into a notorious base used by local pirates to launch attacks on merchant vessels transiting the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean.

Somalia has been without a functioning government since 1991, when warlords overthrew former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

The authority of Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government is generally limited to areas around the capital Mogadishu.

By Press TV


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