Thursday, June 21, 2012

Bruno and Debbie released

JOHANNESBURG - South African couple Bruno Pelizzari and Debbie Calitz have been released by Somali pirates.
"Today we are happy to get our freedom back," Bruno Pelizzari told reporters.
Reports indicate that negotiations between the South African, Somalian and Italian governments secured their release.

It was not immediately clear if a ransom was paid.

The pirate gang initially demanded $10 million from the families of Pelizzari and Calitz.

The ransom demand dropped as low as $500,000 in March last year, according to a blog set up to highlight their plight, but was raised again as negotiations stumbled.
The couple were taken hostage off the Gulf of Aden in October 2010 after armed pirates hijacked their yacht as it was about to enter the Mozambique channel south of Dar es Salaam. 
A third crew member was rescued by the European Union's anti-piracy taskforce.
Somali pirates regularly prey on merchant vessels and private yachts in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden.
They raked in more than $150 million in ransoms during 2011.

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