Business, Finance & Economics

Somalia News: American journalist kidnapped in Galkayo


An American journalist was kidnapped in Galkayo, Somalia. Here, armed men providing security to the local Galmadug administration official hold their high caliber weapons as they stand in a field in the plains near the central Somali town of Galkayo on Aug. 18, 2010.


Roberto Schmidt

NAIROBI, Kenya — Somalia is a largely lawless and unusually dangerous place for foreigners.

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On Saturday gunmen seized an American journalist in the northern town of Galkayo which is fast-becoming the country's 'Kidnap Capital.'

US officials have not confirmed the identity of the man who was seized by gunmen close to Galkayo airport on Saturday.

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Local reports say he is a journalist with dual American and German citizenship and that he was initially taken to the town of Hobyo and then onto Haradheere, both notorious pirate hangouts.

Armed gangs, who are increasingly indistinguishable from pirates, are believed to be holding for ransom an American woman and Danish man, both of whom were abducted in Galkayo in October while working for a demining group, as well as two female Spanish aid workers kidnapped in north-east Kenya and later sold onto pirates.

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