Page last updated at 15:25 GMT, Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Journalists kidnapped in Somalia


A British and Spanish journalist in Somalia have been kidnapped from the north-eastern Puntland region, local authorities say.

Government officials said the pair were taken from their hotel in the port city of Bossasso.

The BBC's Ahmed Ali says the journalists were in Bossasso to cover the story of piracy hijackings off Puntland's coast.

He says the foreigners were abducted by gunmen along with two local reporters.

"The two foreigners are British and Spanish," Abdulkebir Musa, Puntland's assistant minister for seaports, told news agency AFP.

The office of Puntland's president confirmed this information to the BBC.

Somalia has been wracked by civil conflict since 1991 and Islamist insurgents control of much of the country which has no functioning government.

Two other foreign journalists, who were abducted near the Somali capital, Mogadishu, in August, have still not been released.

Pirate attacks against fishing boats, cargo ships and yachts off Somalia's coast have surged this year.

Foreigners, who can be exchanged for large ransoms, are frequent targets.

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