Italian-born author shot, injured in Kenya

Indo Asian News Service

Nairobi, April 24 (IANS/AKI) Acclaimed Italian-born author and conservationist Kuki Gallmann was battling for life in a Nairobi hospital on Monday after being shot in the hip and stomach by armed men at her ranch in Kenya.

Doctors said Gallmann, 73, suffered extensive internal injuries and was in "a stable but critical" condition after Sunday's attack on her cattle ranch in Western Laikipia, in Kenya's Great Rift Valley.

Rangers from the Kenya Wildlife Service fought off the raiders and Gallmann was airlifted to a hospital in Nairobi where she underwent surgery on Sunday.

At the time she was attacked, Gallman was investigating damage to a lodge on the estate that was ransacked on Saturday.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta deplored the shooting and warned "strong deterrent action" against politicians allegedly stoking clashes between herdsmen and landowners.

The clashes have been sparked by a devastating drought and have killed at least 10 people since March.

Armed raiders who are driving more than 200,000 cattle through northern Kenya in search of pastureland have also been accused of killing wildlife, including elephants, in the conservation area.

Hundreds of people have been displaced from their properties in the violence.

Gallman owned a luxury safari lodge which was burned down in March by suspected cattle herders.

She has published five best-selling books. The first, her autobiography "I Dreamed Of Africa", became a feature film starring Kim Basinger.

Born in Treviso, northern Italy, Gallman moved to Kenya with her husband Paolo and son Emanuele in 1972 and became a naturalized Kenyan citizen in the 1980s.

--IANS

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