Philippines says 17 Filipino seafarers taken hostage “safe”

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Manila, Dec 27 (UNI)- The 17 Filipino seafarers taken hostage by Yemen’s Houthi rebels in November “are safe,” an official from the Philippines’ Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) said on Wednesday.

“The 17 seafarers have been allowed to contact their families and have said they are safe onboard the ship,” DMW Undersecretary Hans Cacdac told a local television interview. Cacdac said the office received reports that the ship is still off the coast of Yemen, adding that “certain foreign governments have been engaged to negotiate or to work on the safe release and return of the 17 seafarers.”

The Filipino seafarers were among the crew members of a cargo vessel taken hostage by Yemen’s Houthi rebels in the Red Sea in November. Local media reported that 25 people were on board, including those from Bulgaria, Ukraine, the Philippines, Mexico, and Romania.

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