Sri Lanka frees 52 Indian fishermen
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Sri Lanka frees 52 Indian fishermen

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lankan authorities say they have freed 52 Indian fishermen detained for poaching following India’s release of 20 Sri Lankan fishermen, in a sign of easing tensions between the two countries over the contentious issue.

Sri Lankan Fisheries Ministry spokesman Narendra Rajapakse says the fishermen and their boats were released Monday after India freed the Sri Lankans held in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

The foreign ministry said Fisheries Minister Rajitha Senaratne will visit India on Wednesday for further talks on fishermen held by the two countries.

A total of 283 Indian fishermen and 89 trawlers are in Sri Lankan custody, while 181 Sri Lankan fishermen and 34 trawlers are being held in India.