04/09/08 (B463-B) Shabelle / Négociations secrètes pour libérer une journaliste canadienne retenue en Otage en Somalie avec deux collègues autralien et somalien. / Negotiations underway to free Canadian kidnapped in Somalia: report (En Anglais – Info lectrice)

The Toronto Star is reporting that negotiations are underway to secure the release of a kidnapped Canadian journalist and her Australian and Somali colleagues.

Amanda Lindhout, 27, and Australian photographer Nigel Brennan were taken at gunpoint 10 days ago about 20 kilometres outside Mogadishu.

Their captors also seized a Somali driver and journalist Abdifatah Mohammed Elmi, who was acting as their guide.

Several sources in Somalia, Kenya and Canada said that contact had been made with the kidnappers through third-party negotiators and there was hope the journalists would be released soon.

Mohamed Ali Nur, Somalia’s ambassador to Kenya, told the Star that reports indicated the journalists weren’t hurt.

Lindhout was working in Somalia as a freelance journalist and is normally based in Baghdad.

The fighting in Somalia has reached a new intensity in the last year. The Horn of Africa nation is now believed to have surpassed Afghanistan and Iraq in terms of violence and instability.