Nine Indian sailors of a merchant vessel who were held captive for several months by a local militia in Libya have been released, people familiar with the development said on Saturday.
After their release on Wednesday, the Indian nationals reached the Libyan capital of Tripoli where they were received by the Indian Ambassador to Tunisia.
It is learned that the group contacted the Indian embassy in Tunisia on February 15 and told it that Merchant Vessel MT Maya 1, where they were working, broke down near the coast of Libya and they have been taken into captivity by a local militia.
The mission immediately took up the matter with the Libyan authorities seeking consular access and ensuring the safety and repatriation of the group to India as early as possible.
The Ministry of External Affairs and the Indian mission continued to follow up on the matter with authorities concerned in Libya and kept the family members of the Indian nationals posted regularly about the developments in the case.
The group has been accommodated in a hotel in Tripoli till their exit visa formalities are completed, the people cited above said.
The ship is owned by a Greek company and carries the flag of Cameroon. It was sailing from Malta to Tripoli carrying petroleum products.
Out of nine Indian crew, five are from Uttar Pradesh and one each from Rajasthan, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, and Gujarat.