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Britain won't pay ransom for yacht couple

LONDON, Oct. 31 (UPI) -- The British government says it won't pay a $7 million ransom demanded by the Somali hijackers of a couple's yacht.

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office said in a statement issued Friday that "the government will not make substantive concessions for hostage takers, including the payments of ransom," CNN reported.

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Pirates last week kidnapped Britons Paul and Rachel Chandler from their yacht in the Indian Ocean. A local journalist in contact with the pirates told CNN the pair are being held aboard a hijacked Spanish ship that has been stocked with more supplies and armed men.

The Somali journalist said the pirates moved the Chandlers to the vessel after elders in the Somali town of Haradhere refused a pirate request to allow the couple to come ashore.

British broadcaster ITN reported that the couple were allowed to speak to Rachel Chandler's brother, Stephen Collett, on Friday, during which she said, "We're managing. They tell us that we're safe and that we shouldn't worry and that if we want anything, they will provide it in terms of food and, you know, water. They're very hospitable people, so don't worry. ... Physically we're fine; physically, we're healthy."

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