World News

TIMELINE: Foreign hostages held by kidnappers in Somalia

(Reuters) - Insurgents holding a French security consultant hostage in Somalia issued demands in return for his release Thursday including an immediate end to French support for the Horn of Africa nation’s government.

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, 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 foreign journalists are still being held.

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

July 2009 - Somali gunmen kidnapped two French security consultants working for the government from the Sahafi hotel in Mogadishu on July 14. Police said one escaped on August 26 after killing three of his captors, but Marc Aubriere denied killing anyone and said he slipped away while his guards slept.

July 2009 - Three foreign aid workers were kidnapped on July 18 from Mandera town on the Kenyan-Somali border. No group has claimed responsibility, but al Shabaab rebels blamed another insurgent group, Hizbul Islam, for the attack. The aid organization asked that its name and the nationalities of the hostages not be released.