Kenya search expands for kidnapped British woman

12th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

Kenyan police expanded the search Monday for a British woman holidaymaker, kidnapped in an attack at a luxury beach resort by suspected Somali Islamist extremists who killed her husband.

"We are using all the tactics and resources available but we have not made any success so far -- we hope to find her safe," said regional police commander Aggrey Adoli, who is leading the search.

The attack took place early hours on Sunday morning at a tourist lodge in the Kiunga marine reserve on the Lamu archipelago off Kenya's northern coast, officials said.

Officers launched a massive manhunt for the abductors, using speedboats and helicopters. Police said they suspected the attackers were Shebab extremists from Somalia.

"Our forces have been out since Sunday doing everything possible to rescue her," Adoli said on telephone from Kiunga, where the attack took place, some 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Kenya's border with Somalia.

"We have also appealed to members of the public in this area to work closely with us," he added.

Extra police officers and soldiers have been called in to boost search efforts, Adoli added.

The Lamu island chain and the surrounding area is one of Kenya's top luxury holiday destinations, despite being close to the border with war-torn Somalia.

Most of southern Somalia is controlled by the Al-Qaeda linked Shebab, who are waging an insurgency against Somalia's fragile, Western-backed government.

© 2011 AFP

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