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Originally published Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 10:01 AM

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Somali pirates free 3 Syrian hostages

A Somali official says three Syrian hostages held by Somali pirates have been released after more than two years in captivity.

The Associated Press

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MOGADISHU, Somalia —

A Somali official says three Syrian hostages held by Somali pirates have been released after more than two years in captivity.

Mohamed Aden Ticey, an administrator based in Adado town in central Somalia, said Saturday no ransom was paid for their release.

The three were the last to be freed of the 21 surviving crew of the ship MV Orna, owned by a company in the UAE. One crew member was shot dead by the pirates in August to protest a delay in ransom payments. The ship was hijacked 400 nautical miles northeast of the Seychelles in December 2010 and freed on Oct. 22, 2012.

Hijackings by Somali pirates have significantly decreased in the last couple of years, because many ships now carry armed guards and there is an international naval armada that carries out onshore raids.

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