Frenchwoman ‘kidnapped’ near Kenyan resort

2011-10-01 10:23

Nairobi – An elderly Frenchwoman was kidnapped close to the Kenyan tourist resort of Lamu, near where a British woman was abducted and her husband killed last month, police and diplomatic sources said today.

“It is true that we are looking for an elderly woman from France who was abducted by gunmen last night from Manda bay.

 We have not been able to locate her,” a senior police officer in the coastal city of Mombasa said on condition of anonymity.

A French diplomat confirmed the kidnapping.

“We are liaising very closely with the Kenyan authorities to try to find her,” the diplomat told AFP.

Local sources said the woman was wheelchair-bound and well known in the area, where she spends much of the year.

According to witnesses, she was kidnapped on Manda island, just across a lagoon from Shela, an exclusive resort on Lamu island popular with the rich and famous.

Manda island – part of the Lamu archipelago on Kenya’s Indian Ocean coast – hosts a luxury hotel and was until recently considered to be one of the safest destinations in the country.

On September 11, gunmen attacked a British couple in their fifties – Judith and David Tebbutt – on holiday north of Lamu.

The Tebbutts, from the town of Bishop’s Stortford in southeastern England, were the only guests at the Kiwayu Safari Village, just 40km from the border with conflict-ravaged Somalia.

David Tebbutt was shot dead and his wife was captured. She is believed to have been sold on to pirates now holding her in central Somalia.

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