Gunmen seize two Kenyans in Mogadishu

November 9, 2009 12:00 am

, MOGADISHU, Nov 9 – Armed men kidnapped two Kenyan businessmen in the Somali capital and have demanded a ransom, witnesses said on Monday.

Two Somalis seized with the Kenyans late on Sunday were freed, their relatives said, adding that the gunmen were demanding an unspecified amount of ransom to free the foreigners, who operate a printing firm in Mogadishu.

"The gunmen entered the printing shop and took the Kenyans with two Somali workers but they released the Somalis hours later," said Muktar Ise, a grocer.

"We don’t know the identity of the gunmen but they were heavily armed."

Relatives of the freed Somalis confirmed the kidnapping.

"They took the Kenyans to an undisclosed location and are asking for ransom," Abdulahi Mohamed, a brother to one of the freed Somali men, told AFP.

The printing firm has been operational since 2006 and one of the seized Kenyans had only recently arrived in the capital.

Kidnapping of foreigners is common in Somalia, a country torn apart by decades of clashes that have made it one of the world’s most dangerous places.


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