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Egyptian captain repatriated after being held by Houthis for 10 months

Abdel-Aal and the sailors had to dock at a Yemeni island due to bad weather before armed Houthis held them hostage and seized the ships

Ahram Online , Saturday 5 Dec 2020
Egyptian captain Farouk Abdel-Aal
Freed Egyptian captain Farouk Abdel-Aal
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Egyptian authorities secured the release and repatriation of an Egyptian captain, who was captured by Houthi militants in Yemen 10 months ago.

Captain Farouk Abdel-Aal arrived in Egypt on Friday after negotiations succeeded in ending his captivity.

He said that since Egypt does not communicate with the Houthis, Oman led the negotiations that secured his release.

In January, the captain was heading cargo ships from Oman to Saudi Arabia, along with 19 sailors from India and Bangladesh, according to earlier reports.

Abdel-Aal and the sailors had to dock at a Yemeni island due to bad weather before armed Houthis held them hostage and seized the ships. 

Following successul negotiations, Abdel-Aal was moved from Houthi-controlled territory to the city of Aden before he was repatriated to Cairo through efforts coordinated with Yemeni authorities and the International Organisation for Migration.

In statements to Egyptian media, Abdel-Aal said Yemen's Aden International Airport opened exceptionally for his repatriation to Egypt.

He said the Houthis treated him well and did not insult him or any of the others held captive.

He also thanked President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi for working to secure his release.

Abdel-Aal revealed the Houthis asked for a $680,000 ransom from the owner of the ship to release it.

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