Kenya: 2 Spanish aid workers kidnapped


A Somali boy waits for registration into Ifo refugee camp, which is part of the larger Dadaab camp located in Kenya. He joins thousands of other displaced drought victims who wait as long as ten days before becoming fully registered at the camp.


Phil Moore

Two female Spanish aid workers were kidnapped Thursday from Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya.

The kidnapping of the two women, who work for Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), was the third abduction of Westerners in Kenya in a month, Reuters reports.

Authorities in Kenya have said they suspect the militant group with links to Al Qaeda, al Shabaab, is responsible.

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"We've mobilized all the officers and alerted those at the border to ensure that no vehicle exits the country to Somalia. The whole border area is now sealed," North Eastern Province police commander Leo Nyongesa told Reuters.

GlobalPost's Tristan McConnell in Nairobi reports that the Dadaab refugee camp is a complex of camps home to over 400,000 Somalis.

AFP reports that a search for the women is underway, but authorities believe the gunmen have already taken the women towards the border with Somalia, which is plagued by decades of instability and war.

The women's driver was shot and seriously injured during the incident.

A few weeks ago Somali gunmen abducted female tourists from beach resorts in Kenya. Marie Dedieu, who is French, was taken from her beachfront home in Lamu and Judith Tebbutt, who is British, was captured and taken to Somalia. Gunmen killed her husband.