Two foreign journalists kidnapped in Somalia

Two foreign journalists were kidnapped in Somalia on Saturday, a government official said, and Somali citizens identified the hostages as freelance reporters from Australia and Canada. Ajos Mohamed Nor, who works at Hotel Shamo in Mogadishu, where the two journalists were staying, said they did not return at 11 a.m. Saturday, as planned, after a brief trip outside the capital. He only supplied their first names, identifying the Australian as Nigel and the Canadian as Amanda. The reporters, their Somali driver and two Somali guards were abducted on the way to see people displaced by the violence in Mogadishu and now living outside the city, said Abdihakim Haji, the brother-in-law of Abdifatah Elmi, one of the two guards. Haji said he knew about the abduction because it occurred while he was talking to Elmi on his cell phone during the trip to Elasha, about 18 kilometers southwest of Mogadishu. About halfway there, "I heard a voice ordering them to turn the car in a different direction," Haji said, recalling his last conversation he had with his brother-in-law.