TIMELINE-Foreign hostages held by kidnappers in Somalia

Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:43am EDT

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Aug 11 (Reuters) - Somali kidnappers released six foreigners on Tuesday seized in November in central Somalia, an official told Reuters.

Here is a timeline of kidnappings of foreigners being held in Somalia:



April 2008 - A Briton and a Kenyan working on a U.N.-funded project were seized by gunmen and taken to Jilib town, 280 km (175 miles) south of Mogadishu. They are still being held.

August 2008 - Amanda Lindhout, a Canadian freelance reporter, and Nigel Brennan, a freelance Australian photojournalist, were kidnapped in Mogadishu. A Somali journalist, Abdifatah Mohammed Elmi, who was working as their interpreter, was also kidnapped. Elmi was released in January 2009. The two journalists are still being held.

November 2008 - Gunmen stormed an air strip near Dusamareb town on Nov. 5 and kidnapped a number of aid workers. French-based Action Contre La Faim charity confirmed four of its people were taken. The two French nationals, a Bulgarian and a Belgian and two Kenyan pilots were freed on Aug. 11.

July 2009 - Somali gunmen kidnapped two French security consultants working for the government from the Safahi hotel in Mogadishu on July 14.

-- The al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab movement took possession of both French hostages after winning a tussle with the Hizbul Islam rebel group which was holding one of them.

July 2009 - Three foreign aid workers were kidnapped on July 18 from the town of Mandera which straddles the Kenyan-Somali border. No group has claimed responsibility, but al Shabaab blamed members of Hizbul Islam for the attack.

-- The aid organisation asked that its name and the nationalities of the hostages not be released.







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