Judith Tebbutt: UK Hostage Kidnapped in Kenya Freed

   on March 21 2012 9:10 AM

Somali pirates freed the U.K. woman they held hostage for more than six months on Wednesday.

After efforts today, we have succeeded in the release of the British woman. She just left from Adado airport to Nairobi, Omar Mohammed Diirey, a regional administration official, told Reuters from Adado in central Somalia.

Somali gunmen had killed British publishing executive David Tebbutt and abducted his wife Judith Tebbutt in a raid at a luxury beach resort in neighboring Kenya last September.

Social worker Tebbutt, who is believed to be deaf, spoke to reporters before boarding a flight to the Kenyan capital from Adado. She said she was glad to be safe, BBC reported.

Tebbutt was freed after the ransom demanded by the pirates was paid. A pirate identified himself as Ahmed confirmed her release. Tebbutt had been handed over to regional administration officials early on Wednesday after receiving a ransom that had been air dropped, Reuters quoted the kidnapper as saying.

But details like how much money was paid to secure her release were not revealed. However, it is believed that her relatives and friends raised the required amount.

Meanwhile, according to BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner, a private security company secured her release, not British officials.

The incident had raised serious concern about the safety of tourists in the region, and Kenyan government had blamed al-Qaeda connected militants in Somalia for the abductions.

The East African country also had sent hundreds of troops to beef up security on the boarder in an attempt to reassure tourists, Reuters reported.

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