MAZARA DEL VALLO, Italy

Eighteen Italian fishermen recently released after three months of detention in Libya are returning home.

The sailors were abducted by forces loyal to renegade general Khalifa Haftar, and were kept in Benghazi.

Cristina Amabilino, wife of one of the seamen awaiting his return in Mazara del Vallo, a port town in Sicilly, told Anadolu Agency on Sunday that her husband was kept in a dark, four square-meter room.

I know what he’s been through, she said, adding: “It’s a shame that the government could not bring them back for so long. This is surreal, waiting for 108 days was a torture.”

Tunisian Insaf Jemmali, son of another abducted fisherman, said he was aware of the situation since he spoke to his father over phone.

He denied that the sailors violated Libya’s territorial waters. “This is not true, they were in international waters,” he said, adding that he thinks the issue was political in nature.

Jemmali said they were shifted to four different locations, were under immense psychological pressure, and did not even know what they were eating.

It is not clear if Italy agreed to any concessions but Haftar in September had demanded the release of four Libyans arrested in 2015 for human trafficking.

The North African country has been torn by a civil war since Gaddafi was toppled in 2011.

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