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S. Korea to fly bodies of pirates to Somalia
SEOUL, Feb. 16 (Yonhap) -- South Korea plans to transport the bodies of eight Somali pirates killed in last month's commando raid on a South Korean freighter to the African nation on Wednesday, an official said.

   The bodies will be flown from Oman's Muscat to the Somali capital of Mogadishu on a charter plane, a foreign ministry official said. The bodies have been kept in a police hospital mortuary since they were unloaded from the freed freighter Samho Jewelry last week.

   A South Korean diplomat will travel on the charter plane to hand over the bodies to Somali officials. The interim Somali government's foreign minister is expected to be at the airport to take them over.

   South Korea has agreed to pay for the transportation cost.

   The eight were among a total of 13 pirates that had seized the 11,500-ton chemical carrier last month. South Korea sent naval commandos to free the ship and its 21 crew members. Five other pirates were captured and all of the crew were rescued alive, though the captain was seriously wounded.

   The captured pirates have been brought to South Korea for investigation and trial.

   jschang@yna.co.kr
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