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Man killed and wife kidnapped from a luxury Kenyan holiday resort

A British tourist has been murdered and his wife kidnapped at a luxurious Kenyan beach resort close to the Somalian border.

At least five men broke into the couple's accommodation shortly after 2am on Sunday morning, at the Kiwayu Safari Village resort, around 30 miles north of the island resort of Lamu, and another 30 miles south of the border.

The Foreign Office has delayed the release of details of the couple while Kenyan authorities try to find the missing woman.

Reports indicate that the British man, believed to be in his 40s, was shot dead trying to protect his wife.

Eric Kiraithe, spokesman for Kenya's police, said that a "massive" search and rescue operation was under way. "We are hoping that we will be able to at least find the lady," he said.

On its website, the Foreign Office has restated its advice against all but essential travel to within 20 miles of the Somali border. Kiwayu Safari Village is around 27 miles away.

A Foreign Office spokesperson said: "We are working closely with the Kenyan authorities to establish further details. We have deployed a consular team from our High Commission in Nairobi and are offering all possible support to the families of those involved."

The resort lies several hundred miles south of the busy shipping lanes at the Gulf of Aden, where kidnapping by pirates has become increasingly common, but the presence of a multi-national fleet of warships there has seen attacks spread further afield.

While kidnappings are rare, a raid on a holiday resort is a new and alarming development, which could have dire consequences for Kenya's tourism industry. Local police have pointed the finger at Al-Shabaab, the Islamist insurgency group that is ideologically aligned with al-Qaida.

Kiwayu Safari Village resort is popular among celebrities and backpackers alike.

Artist Tracey Emin has visited the resort, opened in 1973 by an Italian couple.

It has also played host to actress Imelda Staunton and reportedly Sir Mick Jagger.

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