Somali pirate admits to holding British tourist


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The Independent Online

A British holidaymaker abducted from a Kenyan beach resort is thought to be in the captivity of Somali pirates after a member of a gang claimed responsibility for the kidnap.

Judith Tebbutt, 56, was on holiday when attackers raided her beach house, shooting her husband, David, dead and abducting her. Yesterday, a Somali identified as "Mohamed" told Reuters: "My colleagues brought her. I am among the ones guarding her... although you can understand the fatigue from her face, she is healthy."

The claim was verified by Abdullahi Ali Abukar, an elder in southern Somalia. "A convoy of pirates reached here two hours ago, they brought the British lady," he said. "We are very disappointed; we do not want our area to be a place for keeping kidnapped innocent people."

A Foreign Office spokesman said it was aware of the development. Meanwhile, a Kenyan man, Ali Babitu Kololo, 25, is due to appear in court on the Kenyan island of Lamu today to face charges of abduction and robbery in connection with the incident.

The abduction was thought to be the work of Islamist rebel group al-Shabaab, a claim that has been denied.