Nairobi – Authorities here strongly suspect that two Spanish aid workers kidnapped from a camp for Somali refugees in the eastern Kenyan town of Dadaab are still in Kenya, a police spokesman told Efe Friday.
"It rained a lot yesterday. Even the vehicles they (the kidnappers) use were getting stuck in the mud. We have closed all the routes that lead to Somalia," Charles Owino said.
"We have deployed a contingent of soldiers and police, as well as specialized paramilitaries well-trained in rescue missions," the Kenyan official said.
The kidnapping of the two Spanish women bore the hallmarks of Somalia's Islamist Al Shabab militia, Owino said.
Kenyan police will use "all possible means" to rescue the captives, he said. "It's the high season for tourism in this country. This is a serious event. We don't take it lightly."
The two women, part of a team from Doctors Without Borders, were abducted around 1:30 p.m. from the camp in Dadaab, a town about 100 kilometers (60 miles) from the Somali border.
A Spanish broadcast journalist who was in Dadaab filming a report, Neus Sala, told Efe that witnesses described the kidnappers as three Somali men who passed themselves off as refugees.
Recent kidnappings in areas of Kenya bordering war-torn Somalia prompted authorities in Nairobi to deploy security teams in the border region.
Dadaab is thought to be the largest refugee camp in the world, housing nearly 445,000 people who have fled conflict and famine in Somalia, U.N. officials say.