Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Somali pirates release German hostage after 2 year captive

23 September 2014, 18:59

Mogadishu - Somali pirates on Tuesday freed a German-American journalist and writer, Michael Scott Moore, two and a half years after he was kidnapped in the war-torn country, officials said.

"The journalist was released and handed over to Puntland authorities today and he was flown from Galkayo airport," the deputy governor of Mudug region, Ahmed Muse Nur, told reporters.

A Somali pirate source, who asked not to be named, said a ransom was paid for his release.

The journalist was kidnapped in January 2012 in Somalia's semi-autonomous north-central state of Puntland.

The region is outside the control of both the central government and the country's Al-Qaeda-affiliated Shebab rebels.

Read also: Museveni hit by Texas hotel snub over anti-gay law

In Berlin, a German foreign ministry spokeswoman confirmed "that a German citizen, who also has US citizenship and who was abducted in Somalia, went free today", without providing any further details.

News website Spiegel Online quoted unnamed security officials as saying that Moore was in good shape given the circumstances and "thrilled to be free".

The 45-year-old, who had worked for Spiegel Online in Berlin years before he travelled to Somalia to work on a book on piracy, was met by German officials, according to the report, adding he was being taken to a "safe place" where he will receive a medical examination and counselling.

In the years since his kidnapping, Moore's captors frequently posted pictures of him on the Internet. German and US officials had negotiated for the past two and a half years for his release.


Spiegel quoted its chief editor Wolfgang Buechner thanking all who contributed to his release.

"We never gave up hope and are overjoyed, together with Michael and his mother Marlies, that this nightmare is finally over," he said.

An environmental and rights group based in Nairobi monitoring regional maritime activity, Ecoterra International, said in January 2012 that a Somali pirate gang snatched Moore on the road to Galkayo airport and drove him to a remote area.

Pirate attacks off Somalia have been radically reduced in recent years, with international fleets patrolling the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean, as well as armed guards being posted aboard many vessels.

Read also: Sudan lifts ban on Red Cross operations

At their peak in January 2011, Somali pirates held 736 hostages and 32 boats, some onshore and others on their vessels.

Foreign special forces have launched raids to rescue their nationals, including one in 2012 by elite US commandos who swooped in by helicopter to free two aid workers held for three months.

Those left behind come largely from nations without the capabilities to send in troops or means to pay ransoms.

According to security sources, around 40 foreign nationals, most of them fishermen, are still being held by pirates.

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page!



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Cyril Mike Odhiz
Kenyans furious on young lady aft...

A young Kenyan woman is the talk of town after she posted a photo with her elderly lover after a round of steamy sex, or so the photo suggested.  Read more...

Submitted by
Kiplangat langat
Uhuru could be a one term Presid...

Bomet governor Isaac Ruto has said that President Uhuru Kenyatta could be a one term President if he fails to increase allocations to the counties. Read more...

Submitted by
Mody Sammy
35 year old farmer a new milliona...

A 35 year old farmer from Mpeketoni Lamu county has become the latest millionaire in town as she became winner in the ongoing ‘Shinda Mamili na Story Ibambe’. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Leave your past relationship bagg...

Leave your past relationship baggage at the door when you start a new relationship. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Advice from a young married Kenya...

I was just going to get water in the office kitchen and thought a simple hi was fine until I ended up in an hour long conversation with someone. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Helping you find the type of man ...

To put it simply, you can’t go looking for fish in a meat market; you have to go to a fish market. Read more...