Bangladeshi Sailors Reunited with Families After Somali Pirate Ordeal

The 23 crew members of the merchant vessel MV Abdullah were joyfully reunited with their families this week after a harrowing 33-day hostage situation at the hands of Somali pirates, VOA reported today.

The sailors were welcomed home to a hero’s reception at the Chattogram Port on Tuesday afternoon. Relatives had gathered at the port jetty, eagerly awaiting the return of their loved ones, many holding flowers to present.

“I can’t express in words how happy we are that my elder brother is back,” said Abdun Nur Khan Asif, younger brother of the chief officer. “The whole family was waiting for this day.”

The MV Abdullah was hijacked on March 12 approximately 600 nautical miles off the Somali coast while en route from Mozambique to Dubai. After a ransom of $5 million was paid, the crew was released on April 13 and the vessel docked in the United Arab Emirates on April 22 before continuing on to Bangladesh.

State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury confirmed the sailors are in sound physical and mental health following their ordeal. The vessel has since returned to service under the command of a new crew.

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