Kenyan coastguards surround Frenchwoman's abductors at sea

1st October 2011, Comments 0 comments

Kenyan coastguards have surrounded the kidnappers of a disabled Frenchwoman at sea as they reportedly were heading for Somalia, a Kenyan minister said Saturday.

"There is still a stand-off between the Kenyan coastguards and the gunmen. An army helicopter is also hovering over the vessel and we are continually monitoring the situation. We will continue giving you an update as the situation unfolds," Tourism Minister Najib Balala told AFP by telephone.

Earlier Ernest Munyi, head of police for the Coast province, said the kidnappers were headed for Somalia, only a few dozen kilometres (miles) from where the 66-year-old woman was snatched.

The kidnapping, which happened just across an idyllic lagoon from the celebrity-packed resort island of Lamu, came less than a month after a British woman was abducted and her husband killed several kilometres to the north.

Local sources said the Frenchwoman was well known in the area, where she spends much of the year. She is only able to get around by wheelchair, which the kidnappers did not take with them.

© 2011 AFP

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