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British hostages in Somalia speak of ordeal

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British hostages in Somalia speak of ordeal


One of two Britons being held by Somali pirates has been speaking about their ordeal. In a brief phone interview with British channel ITV News, Paul Chandler said he and his wife Rachel had not been harmed. He said they had been transferred from their yacht to another hijacked vessel off the Somali coast.

Chandler said he was unaware of any ransom demand. He also gave details of their kidnap. “Three boats came alongside. I was off watch, I was asleep and men with guns came aboard. And then we were forced to sail six days towards Somalia,” he said. The couple were sailing towards Tanzania when they were seized last Friday. A pirate leader has been quoted as saying the gang fled the yacht with their hostages because they feared the British navy was about to mount a rescue operation. Several European navies are taking part in a multinational operation to combat piracy in the region. In the past year dozens of vessels and their crews have been seized by Somali pirates, who frequently demand a ransom for their release.

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