| 6.3°C Dublin

British hostage Judith Tebbutt released after ransom paid


Judith Tebbutt

Judith Tebbutt

Judith Tebbutt

Judith Tebbutt, the British woman kidnapped from a resort island on the Kenyan coast six months ago, is to be released after a ransom was paid, according to reports.

Mrs Tebbutt was kidnapped by Somali gunmen in September from a beach resort north of the coastal city of Lamu. The gunmen killed her husband, David Tebbutt, during the attack. The couple had only arrived the previous day and were the resort's only guests.

Speaking to ITV News, Mrs Tebbutt said: "I'm really happy. It's just nice to be around other people, it's been quitely lonely for seven months."

A Somali pirate named Bile Hussein and Mohammed Hussein, an official with the militia Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama, said Tebbutt was released by pirate captors on Wednesday and is expected to be flown to Nairobi.

The pirates attacked the Tebbutts during a string of assaults and kidnappings in coastal Kenya. Kenyan troops moved into Somalia soon after the spate of attacks.

"After efforts today, we have succeeded in the release of the British woman. She just left from Adado airport to Nairobi," Omar Mohammed Diirey, a regional administration official told Reuters from Adado in central Somalia.

Two witnesses told Reuters they saw Mrs Tebbutt boarding an airplane that left from Adado airport.

Mrs Tebbutt will be examined by officials from the British embassy in Nairobi before being flown back to Britain to be reunited with her friends and relatives.