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Reports: Pirates free British tourist Judith Tebbutt after relatives pay ransom

Str / AP

British tourist Judith Tebbutt, 56, who was snatched by Somali gunmen from a resort island in Kenya and whose husband was killed.

 

MOGADISHU, Somalia -- A British tourist snatched by Somali gunmen from a resort island in Kenya was freed on Wednesday after more than six months in captivity, according to reports.

Judith Tebbutt was taken in September by gunmen who killed her husband, David Tebbutt, during the attack.


The Associated Press reported that 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.

The hunt is on for the gang that kidnapped a British woman and murdered her husband at an exclusive resort in Kenya. David and Judith Tebbutt were on the first night of their stay at the remote Kiwayu Safari Village, when Mr Tebbutt was shot dead and his wife was bundled into a speedboat. NBC's Rohit Kachroo.

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.

The BBC reported that Tebbutt's relatives had raised the sum demanded by the pirates. BBC journalist Frank Gardner reported that a private security company secured Tebbutt's release.

Str / AP

British tourist Judith Tebbutt, 56, who was snatched by Somali gunmen from a resort island in Kenya and whose husband David Tebbutt was killed in the attack, is seen after being freed following more than six months in captivity in Adado, Somalia.

Britain's Foreign Office declined to comment.

Gunmen entered the Tebbutts' resort room easily on the night of Sept. 10 -- their resort door was only a piece of colorful cloth.

Police believe that David Tebbutt resisted and was shot.

The Associated Press and msnbc.com staff contributed to this report.