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article imageForeign aid workers kidnapped in Kenya

By Brett Wilkins     Jun 29, 2012 in World
A Kenyan driver has been killed and four foreign aid workers kidnapped at a refugee camp near the Somali border. An al-Qaeda-linked Somali militant group is suspected of involvement.
The BBC reports that the incident took place Friday at the Dadaab refugee camp, where 450,000 Somalis fleeing decades of civil unrest in their homeland have settled.
Regional deputy police chief Philip Ndolo told the BBC that two vehicles in a convoy carrying aid workers from the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) came under attack from gunmen. One of the vehicles managed to escape, but the Kenyan driver of the other one was shot and later died of his wounds.
Four foreign aid workers, from Canada, Norway, Pakistan and the Philippines, were kidnapped.
Two other Kenyans, a driver and a contractor for the NRC, were also shot.
According to the NRC, Elizabeth Rasmussen, the group's secretary general, was in the convoy but escaped unscathed.
Deputy chief Ndolo told the BBC that he believes members of the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic militant group al-Shahab may be responsible for the kidnapping attack.
"We suspect this could be the work of al-Shahab sympathizers," he said.
Al-Shahab, the militant wing of the Somali Council of Islamic Courts that fought its way to control over most of southern Somalia in 2006, has been accused of responsibility for numerous kidnappings in recent years.
Recently, the group is suspected of abducting Marie Dedieu, an elderly French woman who died while in custody, from her beach house on Kenya's northern coast as well as a pair of Spanish doctors working for the medical charity Médecins Sans Frontièrs (Doctors Without Borders) at the same Dadaab camp where the four foreigners were kidnapped on Friday.
Those doctors are still being held hostage; al-Shahab denies kidnapping them or any of the other above-mentioned victims.
Kenyan army spokesman Cyrus Oguna told Agence France-Presse that the abandoned sport-utility vehicle has been located some 30 km (18 miles) from the Dadaab camp and that Kenyan forces were in pursuit of the militants.
"We have dispatched military helicopters to pursue the kidnappers," Oguna said.
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