Factbox- Violence targeting aid workers in Somalia

News and Press Release
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Nov 5 (Reuters) - Gunmen stormed an airstrip in central Somalia on Wednesday, kidnapping a group of foreign and local aid workers, witnesses and humanitarian sources said.

Here are some details of recent attacks on humanitarian staff:

- A Briton and a Kenyan working on a U.N.-funded project were seized by gunmen in April and taken to Jilib town, 280 km (175 miles) south of Mogadishu. They are still being held.

- Jolanda Occhipinti and Giuliano Paganini were abducted on May 21 when Somali gunmen stormed the offices of the Rome-based group, Cooperazione Italiana Nord Sud (CINS). They were freed on Aug. 5.

- Gunmen kidnapped five local employees from Water For Life, an Italian charity, on June 30 after stopping their cars west of the capital. They are still being held.

- Gunmen killed Osman Ali Ahmed, local country director for the U.N. Development Programme (UNDP), as he left a Mogadishu mosque on July 6.

- Gunmen killed Mohamed Kheire, local deputy head of a German charity, Bread for the World, on July 11 at Elasha, south of Mogadishu. Separately, gunmen in the capital also killed another local man working for ASAL, a partner group of the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP).

- Abdikadir Yusuf Kariye, head of an orphanage in Lafoole near Mogadishu, was shot dead by unidentified attackers on Aug. 6. Hundreds of civilians displaced by fighting have set up camp at the centre, as well as the 370 orphans who live there.

- Abdulkadir Diad Mohamed, a Somali who joined WFP in June as an administration and finance assistant, was abducted and then shot dead on Aug. 15 when he tried to escape.

- Kidnappers freed Hassan Mohammed Ali, the head of the U.N. refugee agency's office in Somalia on Aug. 27 but rising insecurity forced Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) to close a clinic in Mogadishu that provided essential health care to hundreds of women and children.

- Two Western aid workers from the aid agency Medecins du Monde were kidnapped at the border village of Laas Caanood on Sept. 22 and taken to Gurael, 500 km (300 miles) north of Mogadishu.

- Gunmen killed Abdinasir Aden Muse, a Somali man working for the WFP, in the central town of Merka on Oct 17.

- Muktar Mohammed Hassan, a local man working for the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), was killed on Oct. 19 in the southern town of Hudur.

- Gunmen stormed an airstrip near Dusamareb town on Wednesday and kidnapped a number of aid workers. French-based Action Contre La Faim charity confirmed four of its people were taken. The EU said that two Kenyans, two French, a Bulgarian and a Belgian national were among those kidnapped.

Reuters - Thomson Reuters Foundation
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