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Six Sri Lankan fishermen held by Somali pirates rescued

Colombo, Fri, 20 Apr 2012 ANI

Colombo, April 20 (Xinhua-ANI): Six Sri Lankan fishermen held by Somali pirates for ransom for more than eight months have been rescued by a Spanish battleship, an official said on Friday.

A senior official from the External Affairs Ministry said that the fishermen were rescued by Spanish battleship "Infanta Elena" in the coastal belt 50 kilometers off Tanzania.

Sri Lankan missions in France would gather further details, the official said.

Media reports quoted the Spanish navy as saying that seven others who were suspected to be Somali pirates had been occupying the vessel along with the six Sri Lankan fishermen.

The pirates had asked for a ransom of 6 million U. S. dollars to release the fishermen and threatened to kill the fishermen unless the money was given.

In January last year, Somali pirates killed two Sri Lankan fishermen and took another three as hostages after their vessel got lost in the Indian Ocean. (Xinhua-ANI)

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