Tragedy turns hideaway into media haunt

Residents of tropical Lamu do not appreciate the unwanted attention after the killing and abduction of a couple from a neighbouring island.

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    It is one of the most beautiful places in the world. The group of islands which surround Lamu, a World Heritage site, attract the world traveller type of tourist.

    It is not cheap - this is not a place for the package tour, the people who come here have money to spend.

    Tourism which is so vital here could now be under threat, as the murder of a British businessman David Tebbutt and the kidnapping of his wife Judith has cast a shadow. 

    Locals want to know why the media have flocked to Lamu, when the incident took place more than 60km away in Kiwayu. 

    Any talk of Al-Shabaab or pirates being involved is dismissed as speculation.

    Gunmen killed a British man and kidnapped his wife in a raid on a remote beach resort in northern Kenya near Somalia, Kenyan police and Britain's Foreign Office said.

    Kenyan police said they were treating the raid as banditry for now and could not say whether the gunmen had come from nearby Somalia to kidnap the couple, who were the only guests at the resort.

    One hotel owner who has lived in Lamu for 25 years told me, "It must have been a local job, only locals would be able to pass the rocks to get to Kiwayu." He was also suspicious about the circumstances of the attack.

    "Out of the 18 or so cottages which were completely empty except for them, how did they know to go straight to the couple".

    The problem for Kenyan police who are being helped by London Scotland Yard, is that even if it bandits are responsible, these criminals will want to make as much money as possible out of the abduction.

    They may now sell her on to pirates or even al-Shabaab fighters who could make political gains out of such a high profile victim. 


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