The partner of an elderly, disabled French woman kidnapped in Kenya has told how six masked men brandishing assault rifles stormed their beach house.
John Lepapa has described how his wheelchair-bound girlfriend Marie Dedieu was carried out of the house to a waiting boat at their property on the island of Manda, near Lamu on the north-east coast.
It was the second abduction of a foreign visitor in three weeks.
“I wanted to cut one of them who was near to me. He is the one who shot at me when I was passing through a window,” said Lepapa.
It is thought that the kidnappers were suspected Somali pirates and officials say they took the 66-year-old to their home country.
Charles Owino, spokesman for the Kenyan Police said: “This is a new trend of crime that we are now seeing with the pirates along the coastline, and we relate it to the measures that have been put on the ships that they have been hijacking in the past years. Therefore I think they see this (foreign tourists) as an easy target.”
Pirates once targeted big vessels at sea. But in recent years they’ve attacked private boats, capturing Europeans or Americans on private holidays.