Kenya in bid to get French woman released

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Kenya has sent mediators to Somalia to negotiate the release of a disabled Frenchwoman abducted Saturday from her beachfront resort home, a security official said.

Kenya has "already sent envoys to Somalia to establish contact with the abductors," the official, who asked not to be named for fear of jeopardising the talks, told AFP Sunday.

He said talks were ongoing and described them as "an extension of the talks which have been going on for the other British woman who was taken away earlier."

The official was referring to Judith Tebutt, a Briton, was kidnapped some three weeks ago from a report north of Lamu by gunmen who shot dead her husband.

She is since believed to have been sold to pirates now holding her in central Somalia.

"With negotiations such as this, and considering there is no government on the other side, it may take quite some time, and patience is required. We are just pleading with them not to harm the women and return them safely," the security official said.

Somalia has been without an effective central gocvernment since 1991.

© 2011 AFP

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