01/12/08 (B476) Rapt des 2 journalistes espagnol et britannique. Les autorités somaliennes cherchent les coupables. (2 dépêches en Anglais et en Français)

_________________________________ 2 – Info presse (En Anglais)

Puntland / Le paradis des knidnappeurs et des pirates. // Puntland the heavens of pirates and kidnappings (Info lecteur)

Four journalists kidnapped in Somalia’s breakaway Puntland state, including a Briton and a Spaniard, have been located and police have been deployed to the area, Puntland authorities said on Saturday.

Regional governor Musa Gueleh Yusuf said police had been deployed around the hideout where the journalists were being held, but did not specify the location.

« Now we have the full information. The policemen are around their hideout. After two, three hours, they’ll have the hostages with them, » said Gueleh, the governor of Bossaso region where the four were seized.

« They know exactly their location and we have information that the hostages are OK, guarded by seven kidnappers, » he said, adding that some 60 policemen have been deployed.

The journalists, who were abducted on Wednesday on their way from a hotel in the Puntland economic capital Bosasso to the airport, were investigating piracy in the Gulf of Aden.

On Friday, Puntland officials said they opened negotiations with elders and were probing the circumstances of the abduction.

But Gueleh said the authorities suspected possible involvement in the kidnapping by the two Somali journalists who were snatched at the same time and had been assisting the two foreign journalists during their one-week stay.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the abduction, the latest in a string of kidnappings and attacks targeting foreign journalists and aid workers in Somalia, a country ravaged by conflict and starvation.

_________________________________ 1 – JDD

Somalie-Rapt: Cinq suspects arrêtés

Les forces de sécurité somaliennes ont arrêté cinq hommes soupçonnés d’avoir enlevé mercredi deux journalistes, un Britannique et un Espagnol, dans la province semi-autonome du Puntland, a annoncé le gouverneur local.

« Après enquête, nous avons arrêté cinq hommes travaillant avec ceux qui ont enlevé les deux journalistes étrangers », a déclaré le gouverneur Muse Gelle Yusuf.

« Nous avons envoyé des troupes pour les secourir. »

La Somalie est un des pays les plus dangereux au monde pour les journalistes et pour les travailleurs humanitaires, régulièrement victimes d’attaques ou d’enlèvements.