- Title: SOMALIA: Gunmen kidnap two more Western journalists
- Date: 27th November 2008
- Summary: BOSSASO, SOMALIA (NOVEMBER 26, 2008) (REUTERS) WIDE OF BOSSASO TOWN VARIOUS OF BOSSASO TOWN WIDE OF POLICE STATION VARIOUS OF POLICEMEN PATROLLING BOSSASO TOWN VARIOUS OF CITY WITH PEOPLE RUNNING (AUDIO OF GUNFIRE) PUNTLAND POLICE SPOKESMAN ABSHIR SAID JAMA POLICE SEATED IN HIS OFFICE (SOUNDBITE) (Somali) PUNTLAND POLICE SPOKESMAN, ABSHIR SAID JAMA, SAYING: "We are still receiving information but last night, two journalists holding British passports were kidnapped at about midnight. One of them is of Lebanese origin, but they are both holding British passports." WIDE OF POLICE SPOKESMAN WORKING IN HIS OFFICE (SOUNDBITE) (Somali) PUNTLAND POLICE SPOKESMAN, ABSHIR SAID JAMA, SAYING: "Puntland will use force to rescue those hostages and stop those criminals from asking for more." VARIOUS OF POLICEMEN PREPARING TO GO AND RESCUE THE JOURNALISTS MORE OF ARMED POLICEMEN DRIVING ON THE STREETS
- Embargoed: 12th December 2008 12:00
- Location: Somalia
- Country: Somalia
- Reuters ID: LVA8Y6I2LUP27P3VDRJ78MP1QPJ4
- Story Text: Somali gunmen kidnapped two Western journalists in the northern province of Puntland on Wednesday (November 26), police said, in the latest attack on foreigners working in the lawless Horn of Africa nation.
Immersed in civil conflict for the last 17 years, Somalia is one of the world's most dangerous places for reporters.
"We are still receiving information but last night, two journalists holding British passports were kidnapped at about midnight. One of them is of Lebanese origin, but they are both holding British passports,"
Puntland's police spokesman Abshir Said Jama said.
Two freelancers, an Australian and a Canadian, are still being held after being seized in the capital Mogadishu in August. Foreign aid workers have also been increasingly targeted this year, with a string of assassinations and kidnappings.
Foreign journalists generally stay out of Somalia, leaving reporting on the ground to local journalists. But a few do still go in, usually hiring local militia to protect them.
Dozens of police were seen preparing to go on patrol while others were mobilising for a rescue mission.
"Puntland will use force to rescue those hostages," Jama explained.
Kidnappers in Somalia generally seek ransom payments and seldom harm their hostages.
Islamist insurgents are facing off against the Somali government and its Ethiopian military allies in the south, but Puntland in the north runs its affairs with relative autonomy.
Gangs flourish there, however, and Puntland has become a major base for piracy.
Somali government officials blame Islamist rebels for such attacks. But insurgent leaders accuse the government of staging assassinations to tarnish their name and try to provoke international intervention.
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