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Gunmen kidnap French journalist in north Somalia
Issue 308
Front Page

Election Commission Member Says: "Finance Ministry Is Jeopardising Election Timetable"

Kulmiye Party Decides Not To Work With President Rayale

Puntland Commander Defects to Somaliland - Official

''Somalia Completes its Devolutionary Cycle''

Somali pirates leave Japan-owned ship, crew safe

UN Focuses On Persecution Of Somalia Journalists

Gunmen kidnap French journalist in north Somalia

Somaliland: On The Road To Independent Statehood?

Somaliland And The Bush Administration: Is There A Change On The Horizon?

Ethiopians Said to Push Civilians Into Rebel War

Sending Money And Ideas Home

UNPO Participates in Nonviolent Radical Party Conference

Somaliland: Growing Democracy Yet No Aid

Regional Affairs

Somaliland’s Recognition is in Emergency State

Somaliland MP Met With Liberal Democrat MP Mark Hunter in the House of Commons

Special Report

International News

EU Agrees To Send Mission To Kosovo

Sweden rejects Somali refugees

Al Jazeera goes English, hits 100 million homes


Technology Widens Rich-Poor Gap

Fortress Europe And Begging Africa

Nomad International in Somaliland to launch a new project and evaluate existing projects

SOMALILAND: Africa At It’s Best

Leader In War Could Be Leader In Peace

Lost Boys

Food for thought


Fragile First Step To Pave Dilla-Borama Road

Political Wounds That Never Heal

The Africa Command Prospect And The Partition Of Somalia

Israelis Embark on Journey to Mecca

Historic Canadian-Somali Lobby Day on Parliament Hill - Meet with Prime Minister Stephen Harper - CJC hosts Reception

Somalia: The Worst Ever!

Huge Yes To Flat Rate

By Abdiqani Hassan

BOSASSO, Somalia, 16 Dec 2007 - Gunmen in Somalia's northern Puntland region kidnapped a French journalist on Sunday, the area's deputy governor said.

He had no information on the identity of the reporter or his media organisation.

"A French journalist has been kidnapped by unknown gunmen," Yusuf Mumin Bidde told Reuters. "Puntland security officials are now meeting on that issue."

The reporter's driver told Reuters the attack, by three men wielding AK-47 rifles, took place some 70 km (45 miles) east of Puntland's port town of Bosasso.

"I, with the translator, tried to talk to the gunmen who demanded a $70,000 (50,000 pound) ransom," Omar Ahmed said.

He said it appeared the journalist had contacted the armed group about a story on Somali migrants being smuggled to Yemen -- but instead he was seized.

France does not have a direct diplomatic presence in Somalia but a French Foreign Ministry spokesman said it had been informed of the incident by its embassy in neighbouring Kenya.

"We are doing all we can to gather further information and follow developments in the situation so that our compatriot can regain freedom as soon as possible," the spokesman said.

Known for its relative stability in a country plagued by lawlessness, semi-autonomous Puntland has become increasingly associated with kidnappings, hijackings and piracy.

In May two foreign aid workers were seized and later released after negotiations between their captors and clan elders, while in October gunmen hijacked a cargo plane carrying khat, a lucrative narcotic leaf.

(Additional reporting by Nick Antonovics in Paris; Writing by Katie Nguyen; Editing by Richard Williams)

Source: Reuters

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