• France's news in English

Kenya arrests 7 over Frenchwoman kidnap

AFP · 6 Oct 2011, 16:26

Published: 06 Oct 2011 16:26 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Kenyan police said on Thursday they had arrested seven people over the kidnapping of a disabled Frenchwoman seized from her beachfront home at a prized resort island and taken to neighbouring Somalia.

"It is not possible that someone can come from a neighbouring country and go straight to a particular house and take away someone," police chief Mathew Iteere told reporters.

"It is not possible at all and that is why we strongly believe that they (abductors) have got sympathisers or cells or what we refer to as sleepers within the region.

"And those are the people we are targeting and we have already several arrests ... but we believe the larger group is from across (the border)," Iteere added.

An armed gang seized Marie Dedieu, 66, early on Saturday from Manda Island in the Lamu archipelago, and fled by sea. It was the second kidnapping of a foreigner from the area in less than a month.

Dedieu and her partner had only returned from a trip to France earlier the same week, a factor that led authorities to conclude the attackers may have been tipped off.

A police official who did not want to be named said seven suspects were being held for questioning.

"Those in custody include a security guard who worked within the area where the woman was kidnapped," said the official.

"Investigators are interrogating them to establish if they know how the abduction occurred or have any link with the abductors because the foreign gang must have been working with some locals in the region."

Story continues below…

The Kenyan police chief said they were working to free Dedieu and British tourist Judith Tebbutt who was seized on September 11th north of Lamu and also taken to Somalia.

"There is a lot that is happening in a bid to ensure we get the kidnapped women back safely but we don't want to keep on talking about the nitty gritty because these are issues that can easily jeopardise the investigations."

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Calais migrants given mixed reception in French towns
Photo: AFP

Some in France have shown solidarity with their new guests, while others have made it clear they are not welcome.

Lonely Planet says Bordeaux is world's best city to visit
The fantastic new Bordeaux wine museum. Photo: AFP

After The Local France, the Lonely Planet has followed suit by urging everyone to head to Bordeaux in 2017.

Jungle shacks set ablaze and torn down as camp razed
All photos: AFP

IN PICTURES: The razing of the Jungle has finally begun.

Frenchwoman finds WW1 grenade among her spuds
Photo: AFP

It could have been a very explosive family dinner.

Refugee crisis
What rights to a future in France for Calais migrants?
Photo: AFP

What does the future hold for the migrants of the Jungle? Can they work or claim social benefits or travel freely inside Europe?

Pampers nappies 'contain carcinogenics': French study
Photo: Robert Valencia/Flick

The substances in the nappies are meant to prevent skin irritation but are cancerous, the study concludes.

France to scrap special prison wings for dangerous jihadists
Photo: AFP

The experiment has been ditched.

Myth busting: Half of French adults are now overweight
A model at the Pulp Fiction fashion show in Paris that represents society's diverse spectrum . Photo: AFP

Hold on, aren't the French all meant to be finely toned specimens with not an ounce of fat on them?

France poised to send bulldozers into Calais Jungle
Photo: AFP

As hundreds of migrants leave, the bulldozers are set to tear down the sprawling Calais shanty town on Tuesday.

UK to spend €40 million on securing Calais border
Photo: AFP

Britain spending big on security in Calais.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available