Somali pirates release British couple held for more than a year
Paul and Rachel Chandler were kidnapped as they slept on their yacht 800 miles off the East African coast more than a year ago. Their 388-day ordeal makes the British couple the longest-held former captives of Somali pirates.
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Their 388-day ordeal makes the retirees the longest-held former captives of Somali pirates. And amid questions over why the couple was released now – including how much may have been paid as a ransom, and by whom – the Chandlers are just happy to be freed and homeward bound.
"I'm fine, thank you, enjoying being free, but we are still in Somalia. We are with the good guys now. We will be making our way to [neighboring Kenya's capital, Nairobi] later in the day today," Mrs. Chandler said in a telephone call with Reuters.
The path back home
They were initially taken to Adado, a Somali town near the Ethiopian border, where elders who helped arrange their release said they were attended to medically and kept in a well-guarded compound.
From there, they were taken to the infamous, war-ravaged capital, Mogadishu, where they met with Somalia's newlyappointed prime minister, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, before boarding a plane to Nairobi, reports Agence-France Presse.
After greeting the Chandlers, Mr. Mohamed said that the fragile Western-backed government "exerted every humanly possible effort" to free them.