Paul and Rachel Chandler, a British couple, have been released by Somali pirates who have held them in captivity "deep inland" for thirteen months, . The Chandler's were taken at gunpoint from their yacht on October 23, 2009 while sailing from Seychelles to Tanzania. Fox News said the couple appeared "well," but" tired." They were given cell phones once released. Information is scarce. Updates as available.
AlJazeera English is saying a "significant amount of ransom money was paid."
Sources privy to the secret negotiations that led to the Chandlers' release have told Al Jazeera that $300,000 was paid to their captors - an amount far less than the millions of dollars the pirates initially demanded.
But the details of just who paid the ransom are sketchy. The British government has a long standing policy to not pay ransom to kidnappers.
Sources close to the case told Al Jazeera that the a money came from private donors and the Somali government, which has been involved in the negotiations to release them, and which is desperate for any positive news as it is rattled by daily fighting against al-Qaeda-linked groups.
Regardless of the source of the money, analysts believe that the captors lowered their ransom demand as the Chandlers became a security and financial liability.
"On the one hand, you had Al-Shabab fighters closing in on the captors, and on the other hand, the cost of securing and feeding the Chandlers was mounting," said Ali Omar Ahmed, a maritime security consultant.
Posted by Maggie @ Maggie's Notebook