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Archive for Wednesday, July 15, 2009

2 French security advisers seized

July 15, 2009

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— Two French security advisers on a mission to train Somali forces were kidnapped Tuesday at a hotel where they had checked in as journalists, officials and witnesses said.

About 10 gunmen arrived at the Sahafi Hotel in a small car and a pickup truck mounted with machine guns before several of the men disarmed the guards and stormed inside, said Abdi Mohamed Ahmed, a witness who runs a tea shop nearby.

Gunmen then knocked on the door where the French men were staying and kidnapped them when they opened the door, said hotel manager Mohamed Hassan Gafaa.

“They must have had prior knowledge” of where the men were staying, Gafaa told The Associated Press by telephone. The kidnappers “bundled them into their car and sped away,” he added.

The French Foreign Ministry released a statement saying the men were security consultants.

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