Somali pirates released seven Indian hostages after more than four years of captivity, a government official confirmed.
The seven sailors were freed in Dhuusamareeb town, located in Central Somalia on Thursday and were flown to the capital. The details that led to their release are not clear.
Some reports said that local elders played a role in their release, but it is not confirmed whether the pirates received ransom.
Pirates rarely release ships and hostages without ransom, and usually raise their demands the longer they hold a vessel, because they charge for their expenses.
More than 40 hostages are believed to be still held by the gangs.
The number of attacks by Somali pirates has fallen in recent years because of increased naval patrols and the presence of armed guards on ships.