Somali Pirates Free British Hostage After Nearly 7 Months in Captivation
Almost seven months after being taken captive in a Kenyan beach resort raid, Somali pirates have freed British hostage, Judith Tebbutt, just days ago.
Tebbutt said in an official statement that she was enormously thankful to be free again and reunite with her family, especially son Ollie. She feels he played a major role in securing her release. While this should be primarily a time of pure joy, unfortunately Judith’s husband was killed during the raid for allegedly resisting pirate orders. Therefore, she has asked for time and privacy while her family grieves properly and she reflects on the events of the past six months of her life.
Foreign authorities’ main priority now is to get her to a place of safety as she is flown out of Adado, Somalia and into Nairobi, Kenya. They have also described her condition as fine, aside from fatigue and paleness. Adado elders and local authorities went through lengthy negotiations to ensure Tebbutt’s safe release.
CNN reports this official statement from Somali Information Minister, H.E. Abdulkadir Hussein: "The Somali government will assist in any way it can in the capture and the arrest of the kidnappers who murdered her husband and kept her hostage since September 2011." Somali officials continue to urge for support from the international community in preventing the piracy that plagues the Horn of Africa nation.
Kenyan police reports detail the initial kidnapping as follows: Tebbutt was abducted from a safari lodge in the popular Kenyan tourist town of Lamu in September. Gunmen fatally shot her husband, David Tebbutt, when he resisted. Judith Tebbutt was then taken away aboard a pirates' speedboat.