2 aid workers kidnapped in Kenya

2011-10-13 15:45
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French woman kidnapped in Kenya

An elderly French woman was abducted in Kenya by armed gun man in the Kenyan island of Manda. She is the second armed abduction of a foreign visitor from the east African country's coast in three weeks.

Nairobi - Two Spanish aid workers were abducted Thursday from Kenya's Dadaab refugee camp by Somali Islamist Shabaab rebels, a regional police official said.

"Two aid workers of Spanish nationality have been kidnapped by the Shabaab, they are working for MSF [Medecins Sans Frontieres]," Leo Nyongesa, regional police chief, told AFP.

Another police official said the aid workers' driver, a Kenyan, was shot and seriously wounded before he was thrown out of the car.

"We believe they have been taken to Somalia because the four-wheel vehicle was seen speeding towards the border," said the police official, who did not want to be named.

The two aid workers are believed to be women.

"We have launched a manhunt and there is a major security operation underway," the official added.

The kidnapping is the third attack in just over a month, with a French and British national abducted from coastal regions by Somali gunmen.

Dadaab, the world's largest refugee complex, is home to more than 450,000 refugees, most of whom have come from Somalia, fleeing either drought or war or a combination of the two.

The Kenyan authorities have on several occasions expressed fears that Islamist extremists would infiltrate the Dadaab camps from Somalia, as the border lies barely 100km away.

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