News24

Somalis detain Turkish aid workers

2011-09-13 21:15

Mogadishu - Somali security forces on Tuesday arrested three Turkish aid workers for distributing aid to drought victims in an area outside the capital controlled by the al-Qaeda inspired Shabaab insurgents.

The aid workers went to distribute relief at a camp around 50km southwest of the capital on Monday and were arrested after returning to the city.

"It is true that three Turkish nationals have been detained for interrogation after they crossed into Shabaab-controlled territories to distribute food aid without informing the government," said Adan Mohamed, a police officer.

Somalia is the worst affected country in the Horn of Africa by a severe drought that has left some 13 million people in the region in danger of starvation.

Hundreds of thousands of people have fled from southern Somalia regions to Mogadishu and other outlying areas to seek help.

Last month, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan toured famine-hit Mogadishu and promised that his country would help tackle the crisis.

The United Nations last week declared that famine had spread to a sixth region in southern Somalia and warned that it was likely to extend further in the coming four months.