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Friday, January 27, 2012

US concern about report of American kidnapped in Somalia

The United States said it is trying to obtain more information about an American who was recently reported kidnapped in lawless Somalia.

The case is separate from the one in which US commandos swooped into Somalia Wednesday and rescued two aid workers, an American woman and a Danish man who had been held for three months by armed pirates.

'With regard to a US citizen reportedly kidnapped in northern Somalia, another one, we are concerned about this individual's safety and well-being,' State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

'We have been in contact with the individual's family. We are also working with our contacts in Kenya and in Somalia to try to get more information,' Nuland told reporters.

She did not name the individual and provided no other details.

But Ecoterra International, an environmental and rights group, said in a statement from Nairobi that a foreign national kidnapped at the weekend in central Somalia is an American journalist and writer named Michael Scott Moore.

It said a Somali pirate gang on Saturday snatched Moore -- also said to have German nationality -- on the road to Galkayo airport and drove him to a remote jungle.

Moore was being held alongside two hostages from Israel and the Seychelles taken from a hijacked Seychelles-flagged motorboat, it added.

Gunmen seized Moore from the same area where an American woman and a Danish man were also kidnapped in October. The two were freed on Wednesday in a dawn air raid by US special forces said to have killed eight pirates.


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