NAIROBI (AFP) - Somali gunmen who snatched a disabled 66-year-old Frenchwoman from a Kenyan luxury resort island fled back to Somalia after a shootout with Kenyas navy, officials said Saturday. The wheelchair-bound woman was taken from her home in Lamu at 3:30 am (0030 GMT) by 10 heavily armed Somali bandits, a government statement said, adding that the gunmen are suspected of belonging to Somalias Shebab Islamist rebels. When Kenya learned of the attack, security forces swung into immediate action and pursued the abductors, the statement said. Kenya dispatched a helicopter and coastguard vessels, which caught up with and surrounded the fleeing gunmen, who were speeding towards Ras Kamboni in southern Somalia, the government said. In the ensuing shoot-out between the abductors and the Kenya Navy, several of the abductors were injured but managed to enter Ras Kamboni, according to the statement, which offered no details on the abducted womans condition. The Shebab rebels control large swaths of territory in southern Somalia. The countrys weak, Western-backed government is still largely confined to the capital, Mogadishu. The woman was taken from her home on Manda island, the government said, just across an idyllic lagoon from the celebrity-packed resort island of Lamu, less than a month after a British woman was abducted and her husband killed a few kilometres to the north. Locals said the unnamed woman was well known in the area, where she spends much of the year. The kidnappers did not take her wheelchair with them.