Somalia questions foreign ‘hostages’

November 28, 2022

Mogadishu: Somali police launched an investigation on Sunday after 20 foreigners were discovered near territory controlled by the Al-Shabaab militant group claiming to be fishermen who had been held hostage for years.

Police spokesman Sadik Dudishe said the men -- 14 Iranians and six Pakistanis -- were apprehended for questioning after they wandered unexpectedly from a part of Galmudug state under militant control.

“Some of these people were kidnapped by Al-Shabaab in 2014, while others were abducted on the Harardhere coast, near Qosol-tire, in southern Somalia in mid-2019,” Dudishe said in a statement. “Four of them have physical injuries,” he said. It is not clear how the men came to be released, and police provided no further detail, citing an ongoing inquiry.