Gunmen kidnap Italian woman, 23, in Kenya

Italian aid worker abducted in Malindi by armed gang scores injured

Italian aid worker abducted in Malindi by armed gang scores injured

Police chief Joseph Boinnet said five people also have been wounded by the attackers who shot indiscriminately in the county of Kilifi.

Those injured by the gunmen were taken to Malindi Sub County Hospital where two are in a critical condition.

The 23-year-old woman was among Italian volunteers who had rented a house from which she was abducted at Chakama trading centre.

The kidnapped woman has been identified as Sylivia Constanca, who was working for the small Italian charity, according to local media.

He said the motive for the attack was not clear and the identity of the attackers is yet to be established.

"We assure the public that we are sparing no effort in tracking down the criminals and rescue the victim", the police said.

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A witness told news agency Reuters that the attackers spoke in Somali.

"There were three attackers and they targeted the Italian lady", he said.

"We can not rule out their (Al Shabaab) involvement", another senior police officer told Capital FM News on telephone, "but we are investigating".

The armed group was also responsible for the 2013 attack on a shopping mall in the capital, Nairobi, in which almost 70 people were killed.

Five years after al-Shabaab militants burst into a luxury shopping mall in Kenya's capital Nairobi, hurling grenades and starting a days-long siege that left 67 people dead, analysts say the Somalia-based extremist group has been pushed down Africa's east coast as far as Mozambique as its regional threat expands.

In 2011, Kenya sent troops into the neighbouring country to fight the al-Shabab group in response to the abduction of four foreign nationals, one of whom was a cancer-stricken French woman who died in captivity.

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