Crew members of a stranded Kenyan ship who were taken by the Al-Shabaab group around a week ago were released by them today and were received by businessmen in Mogadishu, as a businessman close to the crew confirmed to Harar24.
According to the businessmen the ten men who are mainly from Kenya and Zanzibar were handed over early this morning by Al-Shabaab to their colleagues and were in good health. ‚ÄúThe ten crew members were handed over to us this morning, they‚Äôre doing well and said they were treated good while they were in custody and were fortunate to be Muslims thus guaranteeing their release‚Äù said one of the businessmen. He further added that amongst the released was the captain of the crew Abubakar Haji Sharif, a well known captain in Mombasa.
Al-Shabaab spokesman who spoke to some local media outlets also confirmed that the men were released and said: ‚ÄúWe rescued these men from bandits, hosted them and treated them well, we let them go since they were Muslims‚Äù.
The ship known as ‚ÄúMV Jamila‚Äù stranded at the coast of Somalia‚Äôs Middle Shabelle province, where it was looted and the life of the crew was put at risk. According to residents, Al-Shabaab members arrived at the scene shortly afterwards after hearing about the stranded ship and took the men with them. This isn‚Äôt the first case of the militants releasing foreigners on the grounds of claiming they‚Äôre Muslims, as earlier this year in February they released two Kenyan hostages who embraced Islam after having been in custody for three years.