Islamabad: Four Pakistani sailors have been released by Somali pirates who have kept hostage for 10 months, reported by a news channel.

Captain Syed Wasi Hasan, Muzzamil, Mohammed Alam and Ali Rehman were the four Pakistanis among the 22 crew members of MV Suez, an Egyptian cargo vessel that was hijacked by pirates in the Gulf of Aden August 2, 2010.

The hostages - besides the Pakistanis - comprised six Indians, 11 Egyptians and one Sri Lankan.

Pakistani human rights activist Ansar Burney played an important role in the release of the hostages. The government and the Ansar Burney Welfare Trust reportedly paid a ransom of $2.1 million to the pirates, a spokesman said.

Wasi Hasan, one of the hostages, told a news channel, that his captors had threatened to kill him. He thanked the nation and the media and showered special praise on Burney for the role played in securing the sailors' release.

Hasan, who said his captors fed him only rice and spaghetti during the entire ordeal, also spoke to his wife and children.