Gunmen abduct German nurse after storming Red Cross facility in Somalia


Somalia's Security Ministry has on Thursday identified the kidnapper of a German nurse working the International Committee of the Red Cross [ICRC] in Mogadishu on Wednesday night, May 2, Garowe Online reports.

The German nurse, Sonja Nientiet was abducted by gunmen from ICRC's compound near Zoobe junction in the capital at around 8:00 p.m. local time last night in what appeared a well-planned, well-organized kidnapping.

The daring attack, carried out despite the presence of almost 10 security guards, struck fear once again into the aid community in Somalia, one of the world's most unsafe countries for humanitarians.

In March, Abdulhafid Yusuf Ibrahim, a Somali national who had worked for ICRC for only five months, died after a bomb exploded beneath his vehicle as he left the office.

Daniel O'Malley, the deputy head of the Red Cross delegation in Somalia, said: "We are deeply concerned about the safety of our colleague".

WHO is working with the Federal Government of Somalia and partners to ensure the highest possible level of health for all the people of Somalia.

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Last Tuesday, suspected Al-Shabaab assassins armed pistols killed a Somali female aid worker, Maryan Abdullahi working with World Health Organization in Bakara, busy an air-opened market in the seaside capital.

Abductions and killings of Somali aid workers are common, but targeting foreign workers has become less frequent in recent years as security has improved. The country has seen an influx of aid agencies to deal with a severe drought that has left hundreds of thousands of people close to starvation.

"I never felt more anxious and terrified than I do now", said Ahmed Mohamed, a field officer with a local Somali aid organization.

Somalia narrowly avoided starvation in 2017 thanks to a major scale up of relief operations. Many have died in bombings by al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab extremists, who continue to control large parts of rural Somalia and often attack the capital.

At least 30 aid workers were killed in 2016 and 2017, the United Nations says.