SA hostages freed in Somalia raid

2012-06-21 13:32

Mogadishu - Somali security forces have rescued a South African couple kidnapped by pirates in the Indian Ocean and held for 18 months, Defence Minister Hussein Arab Isse said on Thursday.

"The rescue started last night (Wednesday) and lasted until this morning and you can see that the pair were freed safely," Isse told reporters during a joint press conference with the couple, Debbie Calitz and Bruno Pelizzari.

Isse said the raid was a joint operation by security forces and the army. Sources said the operation took place in the lower Shabelle region of southern Somalia.

Isse added that more such raids may be staged.

"We know the whereabouts of the rest of the hostages, including the French agent, and if the kidnappers fail to free them, we will forcefully rescue them," he said, referring to a French intelligence agent seized in Mogadishu in July 2009 and detained since.

Calitz and Pelizzari were sailing in the Indian Ocean when their yacht was hijacked by pirates who then set course for Somalia.

  • Bardy - 2012-06-21 13:38

    Okay good... But why has it taken so long for you guys to start raiding?

      francie.potgieter - 2012-06-21 14:26

      At least they did a raid what did SA government do sweet blow all.

      Bardy - 2012-06-21 14:29

      It's because they are white, thats why the government did sweet blue nothing!

      Jaco - 2012-06-21 14:37

      But why were the sa government willing to help the drug smuggler but not these guys?

  • hhubsch - 2012-06-21 13:53

    Wonderful news for their families.

  • johan.lombard.33 - 2012-06-21 14:07

    Well done to the Somali's! Omw - South africa could have really assisted or planned this long ago, since we have such a "world class" army!

  • Ryno - 2012-06-21 14:08

    Happy Ending!! In cinemas June 2013

  • lerato.motshana - 2012-06-21 14:09

    this is great, finally they will come home and be with their respective families.

  • wicus.berg - 2012-06-21 14:20

    Fantastic news! So glad for the family. This must have been one horrible ordeal for the whole family. Very Glad they're safe. Why hasn't the South African government done what most other governments would've done and send a Special forces team in there to go rid the world of these terrorits?

  • aweys.ali.716 - 2012-06-21 14:27

    good news somali,s SA

  • arlene.blackburn.1 - 2012-06-21 14:45

    So so happy for this couple and those that love them. What a good news story and what a life changing, traumatic thing to happen.

  • alison.scheppel - 2012-06-21 17:35

    Wonderful news. I'll bet their families can't wait to see them in the flesh.

  • zemygo - 2012-06-21 21:31

    i am so happy that they were found.

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