Pirates free hostages unharmed

MOGADISHU - Two Germans kidnapped by pirates off Somalia more than six weeks ago have been released unharmed and are on their way home .

MOGADISHU - Two Germans kidnapped by pirates off Somalia more than six weeks ago have been released unharmed and are on their way home .

Officials in Puntland said the freed hostages, a middle-aged man and woman, had been taken to Bossaso, the semiautonomous region's de facto capital, where they had caught a plane for the Kenyan capital Nairobi.

"They are safe and sound though the man is weak and tired," said an official.

The hostages were accompanied on the plane by Somali ambassador Mohamed Ali, who said he had secured their release, and they would arrive in Nairobi later in the day.

Jurgen K, 63, and his companion Sabine M, 51, were sailing their yacht through the Gulf of Aden between Yemen and Somalia to the beaches of the Thai coast when they were seized on June 23. Pirates routinely kidnap foreigners off the coast of Puntland and demand huge ransoms. A tribal elder involved in the release of the Germans said a deal had been struck with the kidnappers late on Friday. - Sapa-AFP

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