Gunmen kidnap Italian volunteer, shoot children near Kenya’s coast

Gunmen kidnapped an Italian volunteer in southeast Kenya and shot five people earlier this week, it was the first abduction of a foreigner since a series of raids blamed on Somali Islamist militants six years ago.

The National Police Service said a group of armed men with AK-47 rifles attacked the town of Chakama and seized a 23-year-old woman who was working for the small Italian charity Africa Milele Onlus.

Witness, Chad Joshua Kazungu said the attackers spoke Somali and starting shooting on people running away, he told Reuters, “There were three attackers and they targeted the Italian lady.”

Local authorities said the attack left five people were wounded, including a 10-year-old shot in the eye and a 12-year-old hit in the thigh, they were all taken to hospital.

Chakama in Kenya’s Kilifi region is 60 km (40 miles) inland from the popular coastal tourist resort on Malindi.

The attackers have yet to be identified, their motives are still unclear.

Another unnamed witness told local media, Kenyan TV channel KTN News that the attackers grabbed the woman as she came out of her room to find out what was going on.

“Their aim was to get money but they took off with her to the river and, before leaving the village, they started shooting in the air and they shot one woman and four boys,” the witness said.

In Kenya the tourist numbers and earnings have plummet, especially from 2012 to 2016 as militants from the Al Shabaab group in neighbouring Somalia, have targeted their attacks on Kenyan soil in retaliation for Kenya’s military intervention in Somalia.

A number of foreigners were abducted in 2011 to 2012, but none since.

The Italian embassy in Nairobi have yet to comment.

The charity was founded in 2011 by an Italian couple after they honeymooned in Africa.

Photo credit- The Standard

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