Gunmen Kidnap German Nurse In Somalia Capital

Somalia Election: Mohamed Abdullahi Emerges As President

 

Armed men abducted a German nurse working for the International Committee of the Red Cross on Wednesday evening from a compound in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, the aid group said Thursday.

“We are deeply concerned about the safety of our colleague,” said Daniel O’Malley, ICRC’s deputy Somalia head.

“She is a nurse who was working every day to save lives and improve the health of some of Somalia’s most vulnerable people.”

The Red Cross said the attack happened around 8.00 pm local time (1700 GMT) when unidentified armed men entered its compound in Mogadishu, adding it is “in contact with various authorities to try and secure her release”.

People working for the Red Cross in Somalia told AFP the gunmen appeared to have evaded the compound’s security guards and snuck the nurse out through a back entrance and into a waiting vehicle.

A government security official said investigations were underway. “We have received information indicating a female western staff member was kidnapped from the ICRC office in Mogadishu,” said Abdirahman Mohamed.

Somalia, which collapsed into civil war in 1991 and has been the site of an al-Qaeda-linked Islamist insurgency since 2006, is one of the most dangerous countries for aid workers, but abductions remain relatively unusual.

In the past, foreigners, including journalists and aid workers, have been kidnapped by armed gangs or Shabaab militants and held for ransom, sometimes for years at a time.

Terrorist bombings and assassinations are commonplace and frequently claimed by the Shabaab which is fighting to overthrow the internationally backed government in Mogadishu.

International aid agencies, including the independent Switzerland-based ICRC, provide health care and other basic services in the war-torn country and are regarded as supporters of the government by the Shabaab and as a ready source of income by other militants and armed gangs.

On Tuesday a local employee of the World Health Organization (WHO) was shot in Mogadishu.

The WHO said in a statement Wednesday it was “shocked and saddened” by the killing of Mariam Abdullahi Mohamed, “a dedicated frontline worker”.

Between 2008-12 piracy off the coast of Somalia became a big business with crew-members and their ships held for million-dollar ransoms, but in recent years attacks have become rare.

Gradually improving stability in Somalia allowed the holding of limited elections in 2016, but insecurity remains widespread.

In October, Somalia suffered its deadliest-ever bombing, with over 500 people killed in an attack blamed on the Shabaab.

AFP

Al-Shabab Bomb Attack Kills 15 In Mogadishu Hotel

Mogadishu Hotel attackAt least 15 people have been killed after Al-Shabab islamist militants attacked a hotel in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

Police said the gunmen drove into the Sahafi Hotel compound using a vehicle packed with explosives, before storming the building.

Victims include, a Member of Parliament, the owner of the hotel and General Abdikarim Dhagabadan, who led the 2012 offensive that drove Al-Shabab out of Mogadishu.

African Union Troops and government forces, however, said that they have regained control of the hotel after a fierce gun battle.

The hotel is popular with Somalia’s Members of Parliament.

A website associated with Al-Shabab claimed responsibility, saying that fighters from the Al-Qaeda-linked group had infiltrated the hotel after an explosion.

The attack came a day after deadly clashes between jihadist fighters and African Union (AU) troops in the Bakool region near the border with Ethiopia.

The militants have also targeted neighbouring countries, killing almost 150 people in an assault on Garissa University College in Kenya in April.

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Somalia President, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, escapes death by the whiskers as Islamist al-shabab militants attack the presidential palace in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

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Car Bomb In Somali Capital Kills Eight: Official

A car bomb that targeted government vehicles in the Somali capital of Mogadishu on Sunday killed eight people and wounded five, said Abdi Mohamud, a local district chairman.

Recent Killings

Recently, a Somali journalist working for the government broadcaster was shot dead outside his home in the capital Mogadishu on Sunday, April 21st.

Mohamed Ibrahim Rageh, who worked for Somali National Television and Radio Mogadishu, was killed by unknown assailants as he returned home after work.

Rageh’s murder came a week after at least 30 people were killed by a car bomb, suicide bombers and gunmen at Mogadishu’s law courts and a car bomb explosion near the airport.