Three aid workers killed in Somalia
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