NAIROBI, Mar 21 – British hostage Judith Tebbutt, captured in Kenya over six months ago by gunmen who killed her husband, was released in central Somalia and flown out to Nairobi Wednesday, elders said.,
“The British lady who was kidnapped from Kenya was just released,” said Mahmoud Hirsi, an elder in the Addado region.
“She is a free woman, but I cannot discuss the technical details of her release,” he added.
Abdiwali Ahmed, a resident of Addado, said Tebbutt had left Somalia on a small airplane bound for the Kenyan capital Nairobi.
“The plane had the hostage and three other people on board,” he said.
Tebbutt, was 56 when she was taken on September 11 last year from a remote beach resort near the Kenyan-Somali border by armed men who shot dead her husband David. She is reported to have hearing difficulties.
She was released in the Addado region, about 50 kilometres (30 miles) from the Ethiopian border and about 500 kilometres (300 miles) northeast of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu.
The couple, from the town of Bishop’s Stortford in southeastern England, were attacked in their room at night. They were the only guests at the upmarket Kiwayu Safari Village, some 40 kilometres (25 miles) from the Somali border.
A French woman, Marie Dedieu, kidnapped from the same coastal area three weeks later, died in captivity.
In October, gunmen captured two Spanish aid workers from Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camp, who are believed to be still held in Somalia.
The spate of attacks prompted Kenya to send in troops and tanks into southern Somalia in October to attack the Al-Qaeda allied Shabaab insurgents, who Nairobi blamed for the attacks.
The extremist insurgents, who control large parts of southern and central Somalia, have always denied involvement in the kidnappings, but do admit to abducting Kenyan officials they call prisoners of war.