Kenya's tourism minister says his country sent troops into Somalia to search for people kidnapped by Somali gunmen and to push Islamist militants away from Kenya's tourist destinations.
Najib Balala told The Associated Press late Tuesday that the army's pursuit of Islamist militants was necessary because they were creating instability in the country and affecting the economy.
Balala said that as a result of a spate of kidnappings in Kenya by Somali gunmen, Kenya had to revise its marketing strategy to attract tourists. Kenya hoped to earn $1 billion in tourism income this year.
Somali gunmen have kidnapped four Europeans inside Kenya in the last six weeks. The French government said Wednesday that the French woman who was taken died in militant custody in Somalia.