Kenya shooting leaves British man dead and wife missing, presumed kidnapped


JF-Expert Member
Sep 24, 2010
[h=1]Kenya shooting leaves British man dead and wife missing, presumed kidnapped
[/h] UK government calls for woman's release after attack on couple staying at remote beach resort close to Somali border

  • Flora Bagenal in Nairobi and Sam Jones
  •, Sunday 11 September 2011 21.13 BST Article history
    Kenya's Kiwayu Safari Village resort, where the British couple were attacked in their beach hut. Photograph: Slim Aarons/Getty Images

    The UK government has called for the release of a kidnapped British woman whose husband was murdered during an attack at the Kenyan beach resort where they were on holiday.
    The couple, who have not been named, were staying at the remote Kiwayu Safari Village close to the border with Somalia when gunmen burst into their beach hut just after midnight on Sunday.
    The husband is believed to have been shot dead after trying to resist the assailants, who ordered the Britons to hand over their valuables.
    His wife was dragged to the speedboat on which the gunmen had arrived and has not been seen since.
    Kenyan police are refusing to speculate on who the attackers might be, but the Guardian has been told that officers fear the raid may have been carried out by members of the Somali Islamist insurgent group al-Shabaab rather than pirates.
    The Kenyan government has sent anti-terror and special crimes officers to the area as part of an enormous search and rescue mission, but Ndegwa Muhoro, director of the country's criminal investigation department, said no word had yet been received from the woman's abductors.
    "We believe it is a kidnap but we are yet to receive any communication from the alleged kidnappers, over 11 hours after they took her with them," he said.
    The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is not releasing the names of the couple for fear of further endangering the woman, but says it is doing all it can to effect her release.
    "We have deployed a consular team from our high commission in Nairobi and are offering all possible support to the family of those involved," said a spokesman. "Our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.
    "We are working to secure the safe and swift release of the British national who has been kidnapped and ask those involved to show compassion and release the individual immediately."
    The FCO also repeated its warning against venturing within 18 miles (30km) of the Kenya-Somalia border, reminding travellers that there had been earlier attacks in Kenya carried out by Somali militia.
    Two western nuns were kidnapped in November 2008 and three aid workers were abducted in July the following year.
    Police said the couple were attacked on the first night of their stay and were the resort's only guests. Attacks on tourists are unusual in Kenya, which is popular for its safari vacations and pristine beaches.
    According to its website, the secluded Kiwayu Safari Village takes "security and safety very seriously".
    It says: "Our relationship with the local community, its fishermen and the local authorities is positive and mutually beneficial.
    "We regularly review our security and safety to ensure it is both comprehensive and current."



JF-Expert Member
Sep 24, 2010
[h=1]Kenyan police hunt killers after Briton murdered and wife abducted[/h] Foreign Office confirms couple were attacked in luxury resort on border with Somalia

  • Sam Jones and agencies
  •, Sunday 11 September 2011 17.52 BST Article history
    Aerial view of Lamu - a popular destination for tourists. Photograph: Yann Arthus-Bertrand/Corbis

    A British man has been murdered and his wife kidnapped in an attack by armed men on the luxury Kenyan beach resort where they were on holiday.
    The Foreign Office said the two Britons were targeted at a resort north of Lamu, near the border between Kenya and Somalia, on Sunday. "One was killed and another kidnapped," a spokeswoman said, adding that consular assistance was being provided.
    Kenyan police declined to give details, but said a search and rescue operation to find the missing woman had been launched.
    Although the Foreign Office would not name the resort, reports suggest it is the Kiwayu Safari Village, which consists of 18 luxury cottages spread along a private beach around 30 miles from Lamu.
    No one from the resort answered phone calls on Sunday afternoon, and its website appeared to be having technical difficulties.
    On its site, the resort says it takes the safety of guests very seriously. "We have a number of systems and measures in place which are designed to give you maximum security and safety without detracting from the special ambiance [sic] of this site or the area," it reads.
    "We have our own organic security protocols as well as a professional security structure which provides us with overarching security and safety 24 hours a day … we regularly review our security and safety to ensure it is both comprehensive and current."
    Attacks on tourists are unusual in Kenya, which is popular for its safaris and beaches. It is unclear whether the attackers came from neighbouring Somalia – where pirates often prey on foreigners – or were Kenyans.
    The Foreign Office website advises travellers against going within 30 miles of the Kenya-Somalia border. It says: "There have been previous attacks by Somali militia into Kenya. Three aid workers were kidnapped in July 2009, and two western nuns in November 2008."
    In 2008, 77-year-old British missionary Brian Thorp was murdered during a robbery on the island of Lamu.
    Originally from Derbyshire, he had worked extensively across Africa as a Mill Hill missionary and may have been targeted because he was carrying cash that was due to be paid to labourers renovating a church.

    Kiwayu is a favourite of celebrities and backpackers. The artist Tracey Emin has visited the resort and talked of her love of the area, telling the Times in 2008: "There's a tiny little spot in Kenya called Kiwayu, near the Somalian border, which has to be one of my favourite places on earth. It's so tranquil.""
    The actor Imelda Staunton wrote in the Telegraph two years ago: "It was very nice lying there on the beach, but it all seemed a bit tame – and then suddenly about 50 monkeys came over the dunes, and wandered over to have a look at us, before heading down to the sea to get crabs for their tea."



JF-Expert Member
Sep 24, 2010
[h=1]Kenya attack: danger from many sides[/h] Tourists at risk along Kenyan-Somali border where British couple were attacked by suspected pirates or terrorists

  • Pirates or terrorists from Somalia are thought likely to be the main suspects in the attack on Sunday on British tourists at an exclusive Kenyan beach resort. The combination of murder and abduction suggests an attempt to extort money rather than robbery. Three aid workers were kidnapped by Somali militia in Kenya, in July 2009, and two western nuns held in November 2008. Foreigners are usually freed for a ransom.
    Lamu island, which is close to Somalia, has been racked by civil war since 1991. Its pirates are recognised as a global problem, while the al-Qaida group al-Shabaab holds much of the south of the country.
    Kismayo, al-Shabaab's stronghold, is 80 miles north of the lodge where the British couple were staying. But Kenyan police described the perpetrators as "bandits," the BBC reported.
    The Foreign Office warned of there being "a high threat of clashes between the Kenyan military and armed Somali groups along the border", citing recent attacks on Mandera by Somali militias; heavy fighting was reported over the weekend between al-Shabaab and Somalia's transitional federal government forces near the town. Casualties were confirmed on both sides as fighting continued to affect the border town of Burahashe.
    Australia's foreign affairs ministry describes a "high risk" of kidnapping against westerners in Kenya and Somalia. A French yachtsman was killed by Somali pirates last week, while his wife was rescued by the Spanish navy. A Danish family of five, including three children, and two crew were released by pirates after being held seven months.
    Kenyan police had been on high alert for the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Kenya had its own bitter experience of transnational terrorism in 1998 when al-Qaida bombed the US embassy in the capital Nairobi. The country's proximity to Somalia led it to being under scrutiny as prone to terrorism financing.


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