The Somali kidnappers of disabled Frenchwoman Marie Dedieu, who died after being snatched from her home in Kenya, are demanding a ransom for the return of her body, France's defence minister said on Thursday.

"/> The Somali kidnappers of disabled Frenchwoman Marie Dedieu, who died after being snatched from her home in Kenya, are demanding a ransom for the return of her body, France's defence minister said on Thursday.

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KIDNAP

Kidnappers demand cash for Frenchwoman’s body

The Somali kidnappers of disabled Frenchwoman Marie Dedieu, who died after being snatched from her home in Kenya, are demanding a ransom for the return of her body, France's defence minister said on Thursday.

“The hostage-takers are even trying to sell the remains, it could not be more despicable,” French Defence Minister Gerard Longuet told the i-TELE news network.

France said Wednesday that 66-year-old Marie Dedieu, who was kidnapped on October 1 and taken to Somalia, had died in the hands of her captors, most probably because they had refused to provide her medication.

Dedieu had been in a wheelchair and suffering from cancer.

“Seizing a woman of this age, who is sick and paralysed, and not giving her medication, allowing her to develop septicemia from which she apparently died, and then proposing to sell her remains! These are not people who deserve anything but contempt,” Longuet said.

He said the French military was not planning any action against the kidnappers in Somalia because they were “a small band, a small minority, an exception who dishonour this territory.”

A gang of 10 armed men seized Dedieu from Manda Island in Kenya’s Lamu archipelago earlier this month and fled by sea to Somalia, fighting off an attempt by Kenya’s navy to stop them.

France has denounced her death as an “an act of unqualified barbarism” and demanded the immediate and unconditional return of her remains.

Kenya has blamed Islamist Shebab rebels in Somalia for a spate of recent kidnappings of foreigners and this week launched an unprecedented incursion into Somalia against the militants.

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KIDNAP

Kidnapped Riviera millionaire left tied up in car boot in Nice

The millionaire Riviera business woman who was kidnapped in broad daylight in Nice two days ago has been found alive after being abandoned by her kidnappers.

Kidnapped Riviera millionaire left tied up in car boot in Nice
Photo: AFP

Jacqueline Veyrac, the 76-year-old millionaire head of the Grand Hotel in Cannes, was kidnapped in Nice in front of shocked onlookers in the middle of the day on Monday.

But on Wednesday, two days after disappearing, French media reported that Veyrac had been found alive in Nice.

According to reports she was found after being bound then abandoned in the boot of a vehicle. The business woman managed to get out of her own accord and seek help from neighbours. 

She had suffered what were described as light injuries. Two men were also reportedly arrested following her appearance.

Police had been desperately hunting for the woman, who on Monday had been forced into a car by kidnappers while several passers-by looked on.

The freesheet French daily 20 Minutes quoted the family's lawyer Sophie Jonquet as saying the kidnappers contacted one of Veyrac's sons on Monday afternoon.

“The family is very upset and won't make any statements at this stage. Too much has already been said and I don't want to put my client in danger,” she told the paper.

Veyrac, whose husband died five years ago, co-owns the five-star Grand Hotel in nearby Cannes with one of her sons and the pair run a gourmet restaurant in Nice called La Reserve.

She was the victim of a kidnapping attempt three years ago whose motive was never discovered.

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