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Kidnapped British woman said to be freed from pirate captors in Somalia; to fly to Kenya
MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) ' A British tourist snatched by Somali gunmen from a resort island in Kenya was freed on Wednesday after more than six months in captivity, three Somali officials said.
Judith Tebbutt was taken in September by gunmen who killed her husband, David Tebbutt, during the attack.
Tebbutt's release on Wednesday was confirmed by a Somali pirate named Bile Hussein and by an official with the militia Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama named Mohammed Hussein. A third official from the ASWJ militia who asked not to be named said a ransom was paid to pirates for Tebbutt's release. No figure was given.
Britain's Foreign Office declined to comment.
The attack on the Tebbutt family came during a string of assault and kidnappings by Somali gunmen near the coastal resort town of Lamu. Kenya's military cited those attacks as the reason it sent troops into Somalia to attack al-Shabab militants in October.
Gunmen entered the Tebbutts' resort room easily on the night of Sept. 10 ' their resort door was only a piece of colorful cloth. Police believed that David Tebbutt resisted and was shot. The Kiwayu Safari Village resort is 30 miles (50 kilometers) north Lamu. It consists of 18 luxury cottages spread along a private beach.
In October gunmen kidnapped a disabled French woman who lived part-time in Lamu. She died in captivity.