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Western journalists kidnapped in Somalia

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  • Four journalists kidnapped in the Somali port city of Bosasso
  • Journalists are British, Spanish and Somali, officials say
  • Journalists kidnapped in the market in Bosasso's center
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(CNN) -- Four journalists have been kidnapped in the Somali port city of Bosasso, officials and an international press freedom group say.

One journalist is British, said Bile Qabow Sade, an adviser to the president of Puntland, a semi-autonomous region of northern Somalia.

Another is a Spanish freelance photographer, a Spanish Foreign Ministry spokesman said. The two others are local Somali journalists, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said.

Unknown assailants seized the four around midday Wednesday after they left their hotel, the CPJ said, citing Abdiqani Hassan, chairman of the Puntland Journalist Club.

"This underscores what an incredibly dangerous place Somalia has become for both local and foreign journalists," said Tom Rhodes, CPJ's Africa Program coordinator.

Spain has no immediate word on the photographer's condition or the circumstances of his kidnapping, the foreign ministry spokesman said.

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Two other freelance journalists are still being held captive in Somalia, the CPJ said. Amanda Lindhout and Nigel Brennan were kidnapped in August outside the capital, Mogadishu.

Somalia's coast has been the center of media attention amid an escalation in piracy along key shipping routes close to the region. Earlier this month a super tanker laden with millions of dollars worth of oil was abducted by Somali pirates.

CNN's Al Goodman and journalist Mohammed Amiin Adow contributed to this report.

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