French tourist abducted from resort where British man shot and wife taken
A French tourist has been kidnapped from the same Kenyan resort where a British man was murdered and his wife abducted.
In early September, pirates shot dead finance director David Tebbutt, and kidnapped his wife Judith Tebbutt, from the Kiwayu Safari Village near Lamu in Somalia.
A Western official, who requested to remain nameless, confirmed that a French woman called Marie Dedieu has now been kidnapped off Manda Island, just across the channel from Lamu, which is part of the same resort.
A Lamu resident, Muhidin Athman, reported that people near the scene of the kidnapping heard gunshots at around 3am.
It is thought the Marie, who is in her 60s and sometimes uses a wheelchair, owns a house on the island, and lives there for six months of the year.
Top police official on the coast Ambrose Munyasia, said that Kenyan navy and police are chasing the suspected boat at sea.
Tourism minister Najib Balala said two Kenyan boats have the suspected pirate boat surrounded, with four men and Ms Dedieu on board.
A plane overhead is also monitoring the situation said Mr Balala, adding: 'We are just concerned about the safety of the lady.'
The French foreign ministry said in a statement that Ms Dedieu was taken by several men who are 'most likely from Somalia'.
The ministry added that it is 'working with the Kenyan authorities, who have mobilised significant air and sea resources in order to free our compatriot'.
David Tebbutt, a director at publishers Faber and Faber, and wife Judith had only just arrived at the Kiwayu Resort, which can cost up to £900 a night, before he was shot, and she was forced onto a motorboat and taken towards the north.
The resort has 18 cottages situated along a mile of beach, and has seen the likes of Mick Jagger, Tracey Emin and Imelda Staunton staying there.
According to the Mail, it was even considered as a possible honeymoon destination for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
A Kenyan hotel worker, Ali Babitu Kololo (pictured), was formally charged in September over the abduction and shooting.
It is believed he was part of a six-strong armed gang who burst into the couple's beach cottage around midnight.
Kololo admitted he led the attackers to the cottage, but claims he was forced to do so, and denies two counts against him, which did not include murder.
He remains in custody, and Judith Tebbutt is still missing.
Despite its beauty, the resort is situated just outside the safety zone from the Somali border recommend by the Foreign Office.
A statement on their travel advice website said: 'We continue to advise against all but essential travel to within 30 kilometres of Kenya's border with Somalia.'