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Massive hunt for snatched wife of Kenya murder victim

Kenyan armed forces were yesterday drafted in to help search for a British woman who was kidnapped from an exclusive beach resort after her husband was shot dead in the attack.

The victims have been named as David Tebbutt (58) and his wife Judith (56), from Bishop's Stortford in Hertfordshire, who were holidaying at the remote Kiwayu Safari Village near the Somalia border.

Kenyan military and police have employed helicopter gunships, a spotter plane and speedboats to hunt for the surviving British tourist amid fears that she had been taken into Somali territory by Islamist militants.

The couple were attacked just after midnight on Saturday, only hours after they arrived back after visiting the Masai Mara reserve.

The beach resort is only 30 miles from the southern Somalian border which is controlled by the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabaab group.

Militants are waging an insurgency against the country, which is led by a Western-backed government.

"We are using all the tactics and resources available but we have not any success so far," said Aggrey Adoli, the regional police commander leading the search.

Mr Tebbutt, finance director of the publishing house Faber and Faber, was reportedly shot in the head as he tried to fight off the armed gang, with some suggestions that the audacious attack could be linked to Somali pirates who have been terrorising nearby areas.

The Tebbutts, who had been married for 26 years, were the only guests at the resort's 18 thatched cottages when an unknown number of raiders struck after arriving by boat.

Background

The resort where Judith and David Tebbutt were attacked is one of Kenya's most exclusive and remote. The Kiwayu Safari Village, nestled in a cove along a mile of pristine beach, is less than 50km from the Somali border and a day's drive from Lamu, the nearest town and a popular tourist hub. One of a growing number of upmarket Indian Ocean resorts, Kiwayu charges £278 per night for a stay in one of its 18 beachside bungalows. Artist Tracey Emin and the actress Imelda Staunton have both visited. The resort where the attack happened has six policeman assigned to it, and employs 20 guards.

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