Chinese crew members (wearing caps) freed by Somali pirates arrive at the airport before heading home, in Nairobi, Kenya, Oct. 24, 2016.
Nine Chinese people held captive by Somali pirates for years returned to China Tuesday morning.
Upon arriving at the Baiyun International Airport in south China's Guangzhou City, they were welcomed by a working group of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Twenty-six crew members of a fishing boat, including 10 Chinese, were rescued on Saturday after four and a half years in captivity.
The 10 Chinese include nine from the Chinese mainland and one from Taiwan. One of the mainland crew members remains in a Nairobi hospital for treatment.
Diplomatic staff said they would help the crew members reunite with their families as soon as possible.
In March 2012, the Naham 3 was hijacked by Somali pirates and 29 sailors of the Omani-flagged fishing vessel were taken captive, including 10 from the Chinese mainland, two from Taiwan, and 17 others from the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia.
Three of the 29 hostages died after the hijacking, including one from the Chinese mainland and one from Taiwan.