Somali pirates release South African hostages

  • Two South Africans held hostage by Somali pirates for 20 months have been released.

    Somalia's defence ministry said the Somali army and security forces began the rescue of Deborah Calitz and Bruno Pelizzari on Wednesday night.

    The couple was kidnapped while working as crew on a yacht sailing in the Indian Ocean off the coast of east Africa in October 2010.

    It is not known whether a ransom was paid.

    The pirates had originally demanded $10 million in return for the release.

    The couple's 20-month captivity is among the longest periods for Somali pirate to hold hostages.