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Sri Lanka seeks Yemeni govt help to secure release of sailors

COLOMBO, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka has requested the government of Yemen to help rescue 26 sailors, including nine Sri Lankans, who have been caught by Yemeni pirates, officials at the Sri Lanka Foreign Ministry said here on Tuesday.

The sailors were caught nearly two months ago and are currently aboard the Greek vessel 'Fair Appollon,' which is anchored at the Port of Hodeidah in Yemen.

They were taken hostage at sea between Yemen and Saudi Arabia. The pirates have have demanded ransom from the company that owns the ship for the release of the 9 Sri Lankans.

Foreign Ministry officials said that the Sri Lankan Embassy in Yemen was doing its best to secure the safe release of the hostages and they had been instructed to update Colombo on the latest developments.

Local media reports said that representative of the owning company of the ship had been summoned, and discussions were held, regarding the Sri Lankan hostages being freed.

The trapped Sri Lankan sailors told a local television station via telephone that they have been held captive by Yemeni pirates for a period of two months, and were facing a number of issues including the lack of food and water.

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