Two Kenyan troops missing after chasing Somali kidnappers

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Two members of Kenya's navy were missing after their boat capsized while chasing suspected Somali gunmen who had kidnapped a disabled French woman from a prized Kenyan resort, an official said Sunday.

The boat carrying eight sailors toppled over when Kenyan forces pursued the abductors of 66-year-old Marie Dedieu who was taken to neighbouring war-torn Somalia, Lamu District Commissioner Stephen Ikua said.

"A search for the two personnel of the navy is going on, they went missing after their boat capsized," he said, adding that the six others were rescued.

Kenya said its forces gave chase, dispatching a helicopter and coastguard vessels to catch the kidnappers as they travelled by speedboat from the archipelago resort of Lamu to Ras Kamboni in southern Somalia after the early Saturday kidnapping.

Kenyan officials suspect Somalia's Al Qaeda-inspired Shebab are behind the abduction.

Dedieu's home lies across a narrow lagoon from Shela, a town on the isle of Lamu popular with the rich and famous, including Monaco's Princess Caroline, who owns property there.

A diplomatic source described Dedieu's house as "relatively modest" and said it lay just a couple of metres from the sea.

© 2011 AFP

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