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Two Kenyan officials kidnapped by al-Shabaab insurgents battling for control of Somalia were spotted in the port city of Kismayo, in Somalia's Lower Juba region, on Monday after being held hostage for two months.
Kenyan government employees, Edward Mule, a 30 year old district officer, and Fredrick Irungu, a 56 year old clerk with the Registrar of Persons, were seen looking weak and chained, but alive near K2 Building (an ex-governor's house), according to residents who spoke to Somalia Report on Wednesday.
Residents near K2 building said al-Shabaab brought the two Kenyans to Kismayo on Monday morning from Bardhere district after Kenyan Defense Forces and Somali troops approached the area.
"Two armed Toyotas full of al-Shabaab militias and one Toyota Surf carrying the two hostages entered the building's compound. During that time, al-Shabaab tightened the security of the area," said a resident who asked to remain anonymous for fear of his safety.
Another source close to al-Shabaab told Somalia Report that the group is planning to transfer the hostages to Lower Shabelle region for better security.
Al-Shabaab kidnapped the two administration police officers from Gerila in Wajir district, 60km from the Somali border, in northeastern Kenya on January 12 of this year and paraded them before the media the following day.
Somalia Report will continue to monitor developments and attempt to verify this with official sources.