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British woman hostage released by Somali pirates

media British hostage Judith Tebbutt speaks during an interview following her … Reuters/ITV News

Somali pirates freed a British hostage Wednesday, nearly seven months after she was taken captive in a raid at a Kenyan beach resort in which her husband was killed.

Speaking tol reporters in Adado before flying to Kenya, a thin but smiling Judith Tebbutt said that seven months captivity was a long time but at least she was very happy to be a alive and kicking.

She said her ordeal took a psychological toll but she endured.

According to Adado elder Mohamed Hashi, Tebbutt's release came after lengthy negotiations between elders and local authorities but a senior official in Adado, who asked to remain anonymous, confirmed that a ransom had been handed over to the pirates.

Tebbutt was abducted from a safari lodge in the popular Kenyan tourist town of Lamu. Gunmen shot and killed her husband, David Tebbutt, when he resisted, according to Kenyan police.

The attack on the Tebbutt family came during a string of assaults 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 the Al Shebab militia in October.

A plane chartered by a security company working on her release flew Tebbut to Nairobi, where she will be looked after by officials from the British embassy before being flown back to the UK to be reunited with friends and relatives.

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