12/27/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

2 Western Journalists Kidnapped In Somali Pirate Den

MOGADISHU, Somalia -- Two European journalists were kidnapped on Wednesday in northern Somalia just as they were about to leave Boosaaso, a notorious pirate den, officials and witnesses said.

The two, a British reporter and Spanish photographer, had spent a week researching Somalia's rampant piracy trade when a band of gunmen seized them just minutes away from the airport.

Officials with the regional government of Puntland, a semiautonomous swath of Somalia, said the journalists had failed to alert the authorities before they arrived and were not traveling with armed security -- a must in Somalia -- when they were taken.

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