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Kidnappers demand $7M for yacht couple

LONDON, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- The Somali kidnappers of a British yachting couple say they want $7 million for their release, the BBC reported Saturday.

The British broadcaster said it had received a phone call from the kidnappers demanding the ransom as Channel 4 News broadcast footage of Paul and Rachel Chandler surrounded by gunmen and saying they feared they would be killed within a week.

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On the video, Paul Chandler reportedly says, "Our captors are very impatient now that nobody has been in touch to enter into negotiations. So we ask the government and the people of Britain and our family, to do whatever they can to enter into negotiations with these people to buy back our lives."

It was the first time the Chandlers have been seen since they disappeared while sailing in the Indian Ocean off the coast of East Africa last month, The Times of London said, adding the couple appeared thin and stressed.

The BBC reported that the couple's family members were heartened to see the Chandlers alive, but were disturbed to see guns pointed at them.

After Channel 4 broadcast the footage, the British Foreign Office issued a statement reiterating its position that it will not negotiate ransoms.

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