France says female hostage in Somalia is dead

By REUTERS
October 19, 2011 12:03

 
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PARIS - A French woman kidnapped earlier this month in Kenya has died, probably due to not being given her medication, France's foreign ministry said on Wednesday.

"The contacts with whom we were working to secure the release of Marie Dedieu have told us of her death," Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said in a statement.

The 66-year-old woman, who was recovering from cancer and needed daily medication, was seized in the early hours of Oct. 1 from a private house on the island of Manda on Kenya's northern coast.

Valero added that Paris could not confirm the date or the circumstances of her death but said the most likely cause of death was that the kidnappers not given her the medication sent by the French government via intermediaries.

"France is shocked at the total absence of humanity and the cruelty that the kidnappers have shown with regard to our compatriot, and we want them to be identified and face justice," Valero said, demanding that her body be handed to authorities.

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