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article imageBritish couple released by pirates in Somalia

By Jane Fazackarley     Nov 14, 2010 in World
British couple Paul and Rachel Chandler, who had been held by Somali pirates for over a year, were released earlier today, it is reported.
Emma Hurd, Africa correspondent for Sky News said that a ransom was paid to ensure the release of the couple.
Sky News
report that family, friends, locals and others paid the money. Their family say they are "delighted" but haven't released a formal statement.
According to Sky News, Rachel Chandler is reported to have told locals:
"We were held in very difficult conditions. It's been a hard year."
The first footage of the Chandlers since their release has been shown. They were filmed arriving at a compound which was under heavy guard. The compound is owned by the mayor of Adado, a town close to the border with Ethiopia. The couple have since been flown to Nairobi where they will undergo further medical tests before coming back home to the UK.
Mayor Mohamed Aden told Sky News:
"They are very happy and very, very excited to be alive and have their freedom back."
He also apologised to the Chandlers for their ordeal and commented on the "horrific treatment" that they had to bear.
The Mayor also talked of how the community had helped in the couple's release and how they had helped to raise money to secure it.
A ransom demand for £1.9m had been made previously, the Daily Mail report.
The couple were taken prisoner last year when they were sailing in the Indian Ocean.
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