Three aid work­ers killed in So­ma­lia

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - WORLD -

NAIROBI: A gun­man has killed three aid work­ers, in­clud­ing two World Food Pro­gramme (WFP) em­ploy­ees, in cen­tral So­ma­lia.

“An in­di­vid­ual opened fire killing out­right one WFP staff mem­ber and a man work­ing for a co-op­er­at­ing part­ner.

“A sec­ond WFP staff mem­ber was shot and later died as a re­sult of his in­juries,” the WFP said in a state­ment.

Lo­cal res­i­dents iden­ti­fied all three as So­ma­lis.

The at­tack took place yes­ter­day near the set­tle­ment of Mata­ban, some 30km from the Ethiopian bor­der in cen­tral So­ma­lia’s Hi­ran re­gion, a front­line area be­tween al- Shabaab Is­lamists and ri­val mili­tia.

“The in­di­vid­ual then gave him­self up and is cur­rently in the cus­tody of the lo­cal au­thor­i­ties,” the WFP said.

The WFP has tem­po­rar­ily sus­pended its op­er­a­tions in the area, where it has been work­ing since 2009.

The mo­tive of the at­tack was not im­me­di­ately clear, but the area is awash with ri­val mili­tia groups and close to ar­eas con­trolled by the al-qaeda linked al-shabaab.

The al- Shabaab in­sur­gents con­trol large parts of cen­tral and south­ern So­ma­lia but are fac­ing in­creas­ing pres­sure from govern­ment forces and re­gional armies.

So­ma­lia is one of the most dan­ger­ous places in the world for aid work­ers.

Al- Shabaab have im­posed dra­co­nian re­stric­tions on in­ter­na­tional aid agen­cies op­er­at­ing in the ar­eas they con­trol, large parts of which were de­clared famine zones ear­lier this year. – SAPA-AFP

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