Seven Emiratis and two Egyptian captives released by Iran

Nine fishermen arrested in January have been released

Indian fishermen work assembling fishing baskets on an early morning,  Monday, Jan. 9, 2012, in Khasab, a small port town in Musandam , Sultanate of Oman.  (Silvia Razgova/The National)
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Seven Emiratis and two Egyptians have been released to the UAE after being held by Iranian authorities for almost three months, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation said on Wednesday.

The nine captives were arrested in January following a fishing trip in the Arabian Gulf.

Iranian authorities handed the captives over to the UAE Coast Guard, in co-operation with ministry.

Ahmed Al Mazrouei, under-secretary at the Ministry, praised the Critical National Infrastructure Authority and UAE Coast Guard for securing the safe return of the fishermen.

He said the ministry had been monitoring the case since the arrests and worked with authorities to secure the return of the captured to their families.

He also said the safety of the fishermen was a top priority at the ministry.

The fishermen praised the ministry for its part in their release, reported state news agency Wam.

In January, Iran released 23 Indian fishermen working on UAE boats to the Emirates after detaining them for five months.