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Somali Kidnappers of French Woman Demand Cash for Remains

French woman Marie Dedieu (undated photo)

French woman Marie Dedieu (undated photo)

France says the Somali kidnappers of a French woman, who died in captivity, are demanding cash for the return of her remains.

Marie Dedieu, 66, was kidnapped from her private beach home in northern Kenya on October 1. France said it learned of her death Wednesday.

French Defense Minister Gerard Longuet says the kidnappers are now trying to, "sell her body". He says the kidnappers deserve nothing but contempt.

Longuet, in an interview on France's i-Tele TV, says Dedieu most likely died of blood poisoning after not receiving her medications.

Dedieu was suffering from cancer and was bound to a wheelchair, which the kidnappers did not take when they seized her.

France has demanded the unconditional return of her remains.

Kenya have launched a military operation into Somalia to hunt down members of militant group al-Shabab, which Kenya holds responsible for Dedieu's kidnapping.

Kenya also suspects al-Shabab is involved in the recent abductions of a British tourist and two Spanish aid workers from Kenyan territory.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.