2 foreign journalists kidnapped in Somalia

Two freelance journalists, presumed to be British, are reported kidnapped by police in the northern Puntland region of Somalia earlier today,

“I think both the journalists are British but we shall investigate … we are sending police to free them,” Puntland’s police spokesman Abshir Said Jama told Reuters. link via BreakingNewsOn.

A report from AP differs in that it suggests one of the victims is British while the other could be “of Lebanese origin”. Freelancers Amanda Lindhout and Nigel Brennan were both kidnapped, along with their Somali fixers, just outside Mogadishu in August. A ransom deadline at the end of October passed without any word.
UPDATE: AFP is reporting that the two journalists could be of French and Spanish origin,

“We have been informed that two journalists, a French and a Spanish, were kidnapped by local militiamen in Bosasso,” Puntland presidential adviser Bile Mohamoud Qabowsade said. link

UPDATE: CNN has the kidnap victims down as British and Irish,

The journalists are British and Irish, said Bile Qabow Sade, an adviser to the president of Puntland, a semi-autonomous region of northern Somalia. link

UPDATE 30 November – Puntland authorities confirm contact has been made with kidnappers and that two Somali journalists are suspected of being involved int he kidnap.

“The kidnappers are asking for a ransom, but we refuse negotiations. We just want them to be released,” [Bossaso Governor Musa Gueleh Yusuf] said without elaborating. “We are not giving ransom. If they don’t release them we will attack them.” link

UPDATE: 1 December – Reuters is reporting five people have been arrested in association with the kidnapping,

“After investigation we have arrested five men who worked with those who kidnapped the two foreign journalists,” governor Muse Gelle Yusuf. “We have sent troops to save them”. link

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