Judith Tebbutt, the kidnapped British tourist in Kenya is refusing food and defying her captors who are continually moving her to different locations, sources in Somalia claimed Sunday.
Locals reported explosions, believed to be bombs dropped by Kenyan or U.S. helicopters, in the Kismayo area of Somalia where Judith Tebbutt, 56, was brought ashore “kicking and screaming” last Monday after she was abducted and her husband David Tebbutt shot dead at their Kenyan beach lodge in Kiwayu Safari Village.
A Kenyan man is due to appear today in court at Lamu, 40 miles south of the murder scene, to face charges of abduction and robbery.
Ali Babitu Kololo, a 25 year-old handyman, is a former employee of the Kiwayu Safari Village and has allegedly told police he helped direct the armed kidnappers to Tebbutts lodge.
The handyman has claimed he did so only under duress after being held up at gunpoint himself.
Kenyan police have also arrested a second suspect, Isa Sheikh Saadi, 37.
The Al Shabaab Islamist group fighting to overthrow the Somalian government has claimed that it seized Judith Tebbutt and murdered David Tebbutt.
The claim is impossible to verify because the group have yet to offer any evidence they are truly holding Judith Tebbutt.
On Sunday afternoon it was also claimed that she was in the hands of Somali pirates in the centre of the country.
One of the pirates, calling himself Mohamed, said:
“My colleagues brought her. I am among the ones guarding her. Although you can understand the fatigue from her face, she is healthy.”
Kenyan witnesses said Judith Tebbutt was “kicking and screaming” as armed bandits dragged her ashore from a speedboat into a convoy of four-wheel-drive Toyotas last Monday.
“She was resisting all the time and the men were forcing her into the car,” a harbor porter said.
Sources in Somalia claimed woman had been moved several times last week and again on Saturday night.
Judith Tebbutt had refused offers of spaghetti and rice, and had rebuffed all attempts to enter into conversation.
“She doesn’t eat and she’s not saying anything,” said a Somali source who has spoken to members of the Al Shabaab group.
“They know she is deaf but have been trying to communicate with hand signals, but she ignores them.”
Publishing executive David Tebbutt and his wife,Judith Tebbutt, a social worker, from Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, were halfway through a two-week holiday when they were attacked by three armed raiders in Kiwayu, 20 miles from the border with Somalia, one week ago.
The attackers shot David Tebbutt with an AK-47 rifle and whisked Judith Tebbutt away by boat in her night clothes to an island off the coast of Somalia before transferring her to Kismayo the next day.
David Tebbutt’s body is expected to be brought back to Britain this week.