Monday, November 10, 2008


Two Catholic nuns were abducted early on Monday by armed bandits near the border with war-torn Somalia.The militias attacked the town of Elwak in Mandera district at about 1am and also stole two vehicles.

Kenya Police said one of the vehicles belonged to a local school while the other belongs to the Provincial Administration.

“They stole cattle before they took off with the two nuns. We have mobilised a security operation in the region but they have since crossed the border over to Somalia, We are also in talks with elders from that country and I can assure you there is progress. The vehicles will be recovered and the nuns returned,” a senior police officer in Mandera said.

No deaths were reported during the latest raid but six people were injured.“There are those who sustained slight injuries while escaping from the raiders and many of them have been treated and discharged,” the officer said.

Kenya Red Cross Public Relations Officer Titus Mung’ou told reporters that their personnel who have been assisting people in the northern frontier town had confirmed the nuns’ abduction. “We are aware of the abduction of the nuns, we understand the police have stepped up security operations to search for them,” he said.

Armed Somali gangs have carried out scores of kidnappings in recent months, often targeting Kenyans or foreigners working with international organisations to demand ransom. Somali gunmen are holding four foreign aid workers from the French aid group "Action Contre la Faim" (ACF-Action Against Hunger) and their two pilots in central Somalia who were abducted last week.

Gunmen are still holding a Japanese female doctor and Dutch nurse working for the French-based medical charity Medecins du Monde, who were abducted inside Ethiopia in September. Two other foreign journalists, a Canadian and an Australian, abducted in August are also being held by a militant Somali group.

Many of these foreigners engage in missionary work trying to promote christianity in the area under the disguise of international foreign aid.