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calendar   Sunday - October 02, 2011

Taking The Easy Way Out

Somali Pirates Turn To Kidnapping European Women

Retired, disabled French journalist the latest victim

British woman still held after pirates kill her husband



A disabled 66-year-old French woman is being held captive by Somali pirates after she was kidnapped from a popular Kenyan tourist destination.

Kenyan and French authorities say armed gunmen seized Marie Dedieu early Saturday morning after Kenyan armed forces failed to stop the kidnappers’ vessel from speeding away, London’s Telegraph reported.

A Kenyan official said they were worried about drowning the captive if they shot down the boat during the standoff.

“Our fear is, if we do drown the boat, we will drown the woman,” he told reporters.

Dedieu, a well-known retired French journalist, spends half of the year at the popular Kenyan island – and was most likely known to the kidnappers, according to witnesses.

One witness told the Telegraph that 10 armed men came on two small speed boats and busted into Dedieu’s house shouting “Where is the foreigner? Where is the foreigner?”

Kenya’s northern coast and areas less than 90 miles from the Somali border have been put off-limits to British visitors, following the second kidnapping of a European tourist in less than a month.

The Foreign Office updated its travel advice, warning against “all but essential travel” to within 150km of the Kenya-Somali border.

This includes the popular tourist areas of Lamu and Manda islands, from where armed gunmen seized Marie Dedieu, a disabled 66-year-old French woman, early on Saturday morning.

Her kidnapping comes three weeks after another gang killed David Tebbutt, of Bishop’s Stortford, Herts, and kidnapped his wife, Judith, from their luxury beachfront cottage in the same area.

“We advise against all but essential travel to coastal areas within 150km of the Somali border, following two attacks by armed gangs in small boats against beach resorts in the Lamu area on 11 September and 1 October 2011,” the Foreign and Commonwealth office said.

Mrs Tebbutt was kidnapped from the much more remote Kiwayu Safari Village, which lies 30 miles through mangrove channels to the north of Lamu and Manda Islands.

Security analysts, diplomats and tour agents had all thought that the more visited areas of the islands around Manda and Lamu town would be seen as too busy and well-protected for pirates or armed robbers to attack.

The French government yesterday revised its travel advice for Kenya, warning its citizens against visiting Lamu.

Kenya says it has sent mediators to Somalia to negotiate the release of a disabled French woman who was snatched from her beachfront resort home on Saturday and taken to neighbouring war-torn Somalia.

The negotiations are reportedly an extension of talks already underway for the release of a British woman, Judith Tebutt, who was kidnapped three weeks ago from a resort north of Lamu in the Indian Ocean after her husband was shot dead by gunmen.

The official warned the negotiations could take time as Somalia has been without a government since 1991.

Officials claim Somalia’s al-Qaeda inspired Shebab rebels were behind the abduction. The rebels control large areas of southern Somalia, although Ras Kamboni were the rebels were heading is not currently under control of any single group.

Time to burn Somalia to the ground and leave it to the four footed animals.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 10/02/2011 at 04:39 PM   
Filed Under: • Pirates, aarrgh! •  
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