Ten heavily-armed Somali pirates reportedly stormed the vacation home of 66-year-old Marie Dedieu, who had reportedly just returned to Kenya after a vacation in her native France. Her Kenyan partner, George Lepapa ole Moiyio, told reporters on the scene that the pirates took Dedieu as he ran for help at the hotel next door. Dedieu was “thrown over the shoulders” of one of the pirates, he said, before adding, “she was screaming and trying to fight, but they were too strong for her.” The search is still on for Dedieu.
This is the second kidnapping of this kind in less than a month in the resort area of Kenya named Lamu. In September, British publisher David Tebbutt was killed and his wife was kidnapped and remains at large after Somali pirates entered their exclusive resort, Kiwayu Safari Village, which lies close to the border with Somalia.
The dual attacks lead the French Foreign Ministry to update their warning to “formally discouraging” for travel to the Lamu archipelago. The U.K. Foreign Ministry also issued the following statement: “We advise against all but essential travel to coastal areas within 150km (93m) of the Somali border, following two attacks by armed gangs in small boats against beach resorts in the Lamu area on 11 September and 1 October 2011. This advice will be kept under review. Both attacks were on beach-front properties, with two Westerners kidnapped and one murdered. Beach-front accommodation in that area and boats off the coast are vulnerable.”
The area is popular with honeymooners, not to mention celebrities. Mick Jagger, Sienna Miller and Jude Law are said to be fans, while its also rumored that Princess Caroline of Monaco owns a house there.
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