French woman abducted by suspected pirates in Kenya
Saturday 01 October 2011
A Western official says suspected Somali pirates have kidnapped a French woman from an exclusive resort island in northern Kenya, near where a British woman was abducted and her husband murdered last month.
The Western official said the French woman was kidnapped off Manda Island this morning, just across the channel from Lamu, where David Tebbutt was shot and his wife Judith kidnapped. The official, who is in Kenya, spoke on condition of anonymity because of a lack of authorization to speak on the record.
Lamu resident Muhidin Athman says people near the scene of the kidnapping heard gunshots around 3am.
The abducted woman is elderly and often uses a wheelchair, according to a resident.
The Kenyan navy and police were chasing the suspected boat at sea, said Ambrose Munyasia, a top police official on the coast.
Mr Athman said the Frenchwoman owns a house on Manda Island and lives there half the year. She gets around with the help of a wheelchair or personal assistants, he said.
Police were at the scene this morning.
Manda Island is just across the channel from Lamu, an old resort town. Two kidnappings within a month have the potential to greatly harm the tourist trade in the area just before the busy holiday season.
Pirates once focused primarily on big ships at sea, but in recent years have also attacked private yachts, capturing Europeans or Americans on private trips.
As US and European navies have increased their patrols of the Indian Ocean, and as large ships have increased their on-board defences, pirates may be looking for easier targets to keep ransom payments coming in.
Pirates kidnapped and held a British couple - the Chandlers - for more than a year.
"It's profit-motived action. As we know the British couple we captured before paid huge ransoms, so sometimes these targets are a big gain that gives you more than ships," a man who identified himself as a pirate commander named Bile Hussein told The Associated Press last week.
Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again
Gillian Anderson lays into gender disparity in Hollywood
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 35,000 walrus gather on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
- 5 Brad Pitt, on the moment he completely lost his temper with Clint Eastwood's son
Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
Brad Pitt, on the moment he completely lost his temper with Clint Eastwood's son
Jennifer Lawrence nude photos leak: More celebrities allegedly targeted as third wave of hacked images released
Cheryl Cole named 'the most dangerous celebrity' on the internet
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
Former Tory donor Arron Banks ups his Ukip donation to £1million following William Hague 'nobody' comment
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
- < Previous
- Next >
£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped Commission, 1st yr OTE £30-£40k : SThree:...
£45000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: My client are looking fo...
£40000 - £45000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Domino ...