Gunmen kidnap German nurse in Somalia capital

2018-05-03 13:08
iStock

iStock

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

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 on 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 20:00 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.

Terrorist bombings and assassinations

A government security officer 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.

Stability

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

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

Between 2008-2012 piracy off the coast of Somalia became a big business with crewmembers 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.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

Read more on:    al-shabaab  |  al-qaeda  |  somalia  |  east africa  |  kidnappings

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.