Suspect Held in Murder, Kidnapping of Britons in Kenya

Posted September 13th, 2011 at 9:05 am (UTC-5)
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Kenyan police say they have arrested a suspect in the murder of a British man and the disappearance of his wife at a luxury resort near the Somali border.

Police believe the suspect helped coordinate the attack on David and Judith Tebbutt early Sunday at the Kiwayu Safari Village, north of Lamu Island.

Just hours after the couple checked into the lodge, six armed men went into their open-air cottage, shot the 58-year-old husband and then fled with his 55-year-old wife in a speedboat. The couple were the resort's only guests at the time.

It is not clear how the resort's security responded during the attack. The lodge has a staff of six armed police officers and at least 20 guards.

Kenyan investigators say they are treating the case as a bandit attack. But the crime has raised fears that al-Shabab militants or pirates based in Somalia mounted a cross-border raid.

The resort is about 40 kilometers south of the Kenya-Somalia border.

Kenya's Lamu Island area is a popular tourist destination and the majority of villagers there depend on the industry for their livelihoods. Locals have expressed concern the crime will prevent tourists from visiting.

The Tebbutts were visiting from Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire in southeast England. David Tebbutt was the finance director of the British publishing company Faber & Faber.