Britain issues tougher Kenya travel advice after attacks

1st October 2011, Comments 0 comments

Britain issued tougher travel advice for Kenya Saturday, after two recent attacks, warning its nationals against all but essential travel to a long stretch of the coast up to the Somali border.

"We advise against all but essential travel to coastal areas within 150 km (93 miles) of the Somali border, following two attacks by armed gangs in small boats against beach resorts in the Lamu area," the new travel advice says, according to a foreign ministry statement.

"Beach-front accommodation in that area and boats off the coast are vulnerable."

Previously, London advised against all but essential travel to Kenyan coastal areas within 60 kilometres of the Somali border.

The updated advice came the same day Somali gunmen snatched a disabled Frenchwoman from her home on the archipelago of Lamu in east Kenya at 3:30 am (0030 GMT), according to the Kenyan government.

The attackers fled back into Somalia after a shootout with Kenya's navy, officials said.

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

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

The Lamu archipelago is often included in package holidays to Kenya, with game-viewing safaris in some of the country's national parks.

Tourism is a key foreign currency earner for Kenya, East Africa's largest economy. The sector had only recently recovered from the violence that erupted after disputed 2007 polls.

© 2011 AFP

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