Somalia: ICRC says staff member kidnapped in Mogadishu

Somalia
By Staff reporter , Garowe Online

MOGADISHU, Somalia - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said a female staff member has been kidnapped in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu on Wednesday night, Garowe Online reports.

In a statement, the ICRC confirmed that the abduction happened around 8 p.m. local time on when unidentified armed assailants stormed its main compound near KM5 junction in the capital.

"We are deeply concerned about the safety of our colleague," said Daniel O'Malley, ICRC's deputy head of delegation for Somalia. "She is a nurse who was working every day to save lives and improve the health of some of Somalia's most vulnerable people."

O'Malley added that ICRC is in contact with Somali government authorities to try and secure her release, declining to provide any additional information at this stage.

The female aid worker is reported to be a German national. She was having dinner inside the aid Agency's compound at the time of her abduction, according to her colleagues.

Somali security forces cordoned off the building and launched an investigation into the kidnapping incident with reports that several ICRC security guards were arrested for further questioning.

Attacks on the aid workers operating in Somalia have dramatically increased in the past three years and the number killed jumped to more than 20, while many had been taken as hostages for ransom.

Mariam Abdullahi Mohamed, a young Somali female staffer working with WHO Somalia team, who was shot in Mogadishu's Bakara market on 1 May 2018 by unknown gunmen a week before her wedding.

Last March, ICRC lost one of its staff, Abdulhafid Yusuf Ibrahim, a Somali national who killed when a bomb fitted into his car exploded leaving the ICRC office in the Somali capital.

GAROWE ONLINE