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10.11.2008 Kenya

Italian nuns kidnapped in Kenya


Suspected Somali gunmen have kidnapped two Italian nuns in Kenya and taken them over the border to Somalia, officials and witnesses have said.

The nuns were taken during a pre-dawn raid in the border town of El Wak, about 400 miles (645km) north-east of the capital, Nairobi, reports said.

The Kenyan Red Cross said the gunmen escaped in three hijacked vehicles.

Somalia has been without a functioning government since 1991. Islamist rebels are in control of much of the country.

Kenyan police said they were collaborating with Somali elders over the incident, AFP news agency reported.

The Italian foreign ministry said it was also working to secure the release of the Catholic nuns, adding that the papal nuncio in Kenya was involved.

Source: BBC