Somali pirates threatened a fight to the death that would endanger a captive British couple if British forces attempt to rescue them.
"We die first before they get freed," one of the pirates said Saturday when contacted by satellite phone.
Paul and Rachel Chandler, from Kent, England, were captured on Oct. 23 as they sailed their yacht, the 38-foot Lynn Rival, from the Seychelles towards Tanzania.
The pirates’ new threat follows reports that an operation mounted by the Special Boat Service to rescue the couple was "bungled" before it could reach them because of technical problems.
"If anyone interrupts our negotiations to get the payment of a ransom, it will be a risk for them [the Chandlers]," said "Gelle," one of the pirates guarding the couple. "So we advise that no one interrupts our current good discussions."
In the only comment that held some hope for the Chandlers, Gelle said that they had lowered their demand from $7 million to $2 million "or whatever price that we agree." It was a clear signal that the pirates are open to offers.