Kidnapped Woman 'Taken To Somalia'

Published: October 1, 2011

A French woman kidnapped from her island home on the north Kenyan coast has been taken to mainland Somalia, Sky sources have said.
Earlier reports said coastguard vessels had caught up to a boat carrying gunmen and the hostage, named as Marie Dedieu.
The 66-year-old woman, who is disabled and uses a wheelchair, was kidnapped by suspected Somali pirates from Manda Island, off Kenya’s northern coast. Charles Owino, deputy Kenyan police spokesman, said an armed gang of about 10 men attacked Ms Dedieu’s home at around 3am.
“They fired an AK47 rifle, one round, and in the process they highjacked (the) lady,” he said. Kenya’s government has blamed Somalia’s Islamist Shebab rebels of being behind the kidnapping.
It is understood Ms Dedieu rents a house on the island, which is located across the channel from the popular tourist town of Lamu, and lives there half the year.

My girlfriend pleaded with them and told them to take whatever they wanted from the house, including the money and to spare her life.
The hostage’s Kenyan boyfriend, John Lepapa

It is the second kidnapping incident to happen near Lamu in a month. British woman Judith Tebbutt, 56, was taken from the Kiwayu Safari Village after her husband David, 58, was killed.
It is believed the couple from Hertfordshire were the only guests at the luxury resort, which is near the border with Somalia.
Two men have been charged over that deadly attack.
In the latest kidnapping, Manda Island residents said an armed gang landed on the beach and raided Ms Dedieu’s thatched cottage.
Her Kenyan boyfriend, John Lepapa, was quoted as saying the kidnappers ordered him and the house staff to lie face-down on the floor.
“All they were saying was, ‘Where is the foreigner, where is the foreigner’,” he said.
One of the gunmen then grabbed Ms Dedieu and carried her on his shoulders to an awaiting boat.
“My girlfriend pleaded with them and told them to take whatever they wanted from the house, including the money and to spare her life,” Mr Lepapa said.
“But they would not listen.”
The French foreign ministry said in a statement she was taken by several men who are “most likely from Somalia”.
It added they are “working with the Kenyan authorities, who have mobilised significant air and sea resources in order to free our compatriot”.
Kenya’s tourism minister Najib Balala earlier said a stand-off between the coastguard and the kidnappers had taken place at sea near the border with Somalia.
“Our fear is, if we do drown the boat, we will drown the woman,” he said.
Mr Balala said the armed gang had fired into the air in an attempt to scare off the coastguard and a circling aircraft.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *