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Somali Pirates Free British Couple After Year of Captivity

"We are happy to be alive."

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A British couple kidnapped from their yacht by Somali pirates more than a year ago are now free.

Paul and Rachel Chandler were taken hostage off East Africa on Oct. 23, 2009. They had been pirate hostages ever since.

Efforts to free the couple by the Somali diaspora, the weak Mogadishu-based government and Britain had failed — until now.

The British couple boarded a plane in the Somali town of Adado and flew to Mogadishu Sunday morning. From there they are to fly out of Somalia and into Kenya. Small ceremonies celebrating the release were held in Adado and Mogadishu.

Photos showed the Chandlers smiling and looking relaxed. Rachel Chandler told an Associated Press reporter by phone that: "We are happy to be alive."

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