British special forces have attempted to rescue a couple seized by Somali pirates almost three months ago but the mission was aborted amid "bungling" delays, a report said Friday.
Citing a government official, the BBC reported that a Special Boat Service team was deployed from Britain to rescue Paul and Rachel Chandler but they were delayed by technical problems and slow decision-making in London.
The team finally arrived near where the pirates were holding the Chandlers, who were seized from their yacht in the Indian Ocean on October 23, but were not in time to rescue them, the BBC said.
"There was some bungling here," the official was quoted as saying. It was not clear when the attempted rescue took place.
In an interview with British television on Thursday, Paul Chandler said they were being treated like "captive animals" and warned their kidnappers were becoming frustrated that their demands for a ransom had not been met.
"They've lost patience. They set a deadline of three or four days. If they don't hear then they say they will let us die," he told ITV News.
The pirates have demanded $7 million but the Foreign Office in London has said it does not pay ransoms.