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Freed hostages return to Cambodia

Cambodian hostages freed after four years of captivity at the hands of Somali pirates exit Phnom Penh International Airport last night.
Cambodian hostages freed after four years of captivity at the hands of Somali pirates exit Phnom Penh International Airport last night. Pha Lina

Freed hostages return to Cambodia

Four Cambodians who were held hostage by Somali pirates for four years arrived home yesterday evening after being released from captivity two weeks ago.

Two of the men are from Kampong Chhnang province, while the other two are from Kampong Cham and Kratie.

The men’s return was facilitated by the NGO Caritas Cambodia, which will also help with their reintegration. “We are thinking about rehabilitation measures for them,” said Tith Sopheak, migration and anti-human trafficking program manager at Caritas.

Chum Sounry, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the Philippines played an instrumental role in transporting the men from Kenya, where they stayed following their release.

Family members awaited the men’s arrival with anticipation yesterday.

Kong Sopheap said she was brought by Caritas from Kampong Chhnang to welcome her husband, and Em Vann, whose brother was also taken hostage, said she was happy to see her brother again soon.

“My mother won’t let him go anywhere again,” she said.

The four victims arrived at 7:30pm at Phnom Penh International Airport.

A previous version incorrectly stated the home province of one of the freed hostages. He is from Kratie, not Kampong Speu.

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