On Tuesday night three gunmen armed with AK47s abducted an Italian woman from Chakama, in Kenya’s coastal region of Kilifi. Another woman and four children were injured in the attack that occurred around 8pm at the Chakama trading centre.

The 23-year-old woman was volunteering for the NGO Africa Milele Onlus. In a post on its website, the group said “There are no words to comment on what is happening. Silvia, we are all with you.”

Italian media has identified the woman as Silvia Costanza Romano. The town is about 80km inland from Malindi, a major tourist destination.

A witness told Reuters that, “the attackers had clothes of Somali origin … they spoke in Somali,” – with the implication being that al Shabaab are responsible for the abduction. This has not yet been confirmed by other sources.

The Evening Standard reports that –

An unidentified witness told Kenyan TV channel KTN News: “The European lady got out of her room, instead of lying on the ground, to enquire what was going on. One of the attackers then slapped her.”

“Their aim was to get money but they took off with her to the river and, before leaving the village, they started shooting in the air and they shot one woman and four boys,” the witness said.

Sources

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