Kenyan police say gunmen kidnap Italian volunteer, wound five in attack on coast

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenyan police said on Wednesday unidentified gunmen kidnapped an Italian volunteer in the coastal region of Kilifi during an attack in which five people were wounded, the first time a foreigner has been abducted in Kenya in several years.

“The Gang … abducted an Italian lady aged 23 years who is a volunteer of Africa Milele Onlus, an NGO operating in the area,” the National Police Service said on Twitter.

The wounded were taken to hospital and officers were pursuing the attackers, police said.

The police did not say if the gunmen were suspect militants from al Shabaab, an Islamist group based in neighboring Somalia that has launched deadly attacks in Kenya for years, including the 2013 attack on a shopping mall in the capital, Nairobi, in which nearly 70 people were killed.

Suspected Shabaab militants have launched several attacks in recent months in which Kenyan soldiers have been killed but those attacks have all taken place in Lamu County, which is north of Kilifi and borders Somalia.

Reporting by Humphrey Malalo; Writing by George Obulutsa; Editing by Paul Tait

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