A Briton has been killed and his wife is believed to have been abducted during an attack on a seaside resort where they were on holiday in Kenya.
The unidentified British couple was staying in the Kenyan resort of Kiwayu Safari Village near the border with Somalia when gunmen stormed their beach hut late Saturday night.
The man is believed to have been killed after trying to oppose the attackers, who ordered the couple to surrender their valuables.
The woman was dragged to the motorboat on which the gunmen arrived and has not been seen since.
The British government has called for the release of the abducted woman.
Officials in Kenya say the couple was attacked on the first night of their stay at the resort, which consists of 18 luxury villas located along a private beach.
The Kenyan has refused to speculate on the possible attackers, but police fear the raid may have been carried out by members of Somalia’s Islamist rebel group al-Shabaab and not by pirates, according to the Guardian.
The Nairobi government has sent counter-terrorism and special crime officers to the area as part of a huge search and rescue mission, but according to Ndegwa Muhoro, director of the country’s criminal investigation department, no signal has been received from the woman’s abductors. .
“We believe this is a kidnapping, but we have not yet received a report from the alleged abductors, more than 11 hours after they took her with them.” Said Ndegwa Muhoro.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Community (FCO) said:
“We can confirm that two British citizens were attacked at night in a seaside resort north of Lamu, near the border between Kenya and Somalia.
“One was killed and another was abducted. We are working closely with the Kenyan authorities to establish further details. “
The FCO did not disclose the couple’s names for fear of further endangering the woman, but said it was doing everything possible to free her.
“We have deployed a consular team from our High Commission in Nairobi and offer all possible support to the participants’ families,” An FCO spokesman said.
“Our thoughts are with them in this difficult time.
“We are working to ensure the safe and speedy release of the abducted British citizen, and we ask those involved to show compassion and release the person immediately.”
The FCO also reiterated its warning not to dare 30 miles from the Kenya-Somalia border, reminding passengers that there had been earlier attacks in Kenya by the Somali militia.
Two nuns from Western Europe were abducted in November 2008 and three aid workers were abducted in July 2009.
According to Police Commissioner Matthew Itiere, the couple came from a trip to the Masai Mara Reserve and were the only guests at the resort.
Attacks on tourists are unusual in Kenya, which is popular for its safari vacations and pristine beaches.