Somali gunmen abduct two Western aid workers – Reuters, MOGADISHU

September 23rd, 2008 Print Print Email Email

Somali gunmen have abducted two Western aid workers near the country’s border with Ethiopia, witnesses said on Tuesday. (more…)

Somali gunmen have abducted two Western aid workers near the country’s border with Ethiopia, witnesses said on Tuesday.

“Two white people, a man and a woman, were brought to Gurael district last night from the Ethiopian border by about 10 well-armed Somali clan militia,” said resident Salad Abdi.

“We don’t know their nationalities but we know they are from Western countries and were working with an aid agency.”

Kidnapping of foreigners and aid workers has become common in Somalia, where a transitional government is fighting Islamist insurgents in the south and clan militia rule large areas.

Most hostages are freed unharmed after ransom payments or negotiations.

The pair were grabbed at the border village of Laas Caanood on Monday night and taken to Gurael, about 500 km (300 miles) north of the capital Mogadishu, locals said.

Authorities said they were on the case.

“We have heard that some kidnapped people were brought here last night… We are investigating the issue,” deputy district commissioner Osman Taar Gurael told Reuters. (Writing by Wangui Kanina; editing by Sami Aboudi)

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