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Gunmen kidnap German Red Cross nurse in Somalia

Gunmen kidnap German Red Cross nurse in Somalia
By Pascale Davies
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A German nurse working for the International Committee of the Red Cross was kidnapped in Mogadishu on Wednesday.


Unidentified gunmen kidnapped a female German nurse working for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Somalia, the organisation said.

She was abducted in the country's capital Mogadishu on Wedneday night from inside the aid group's compound at 8:00pm local time.

The ICRC's Communications Manager for Africa, Krista Armstrong, told Euronews that the aid group is using "all its networks and contacts, such as the national intelligence agency, to ensure her safe release," adding that they've also reached out to "armed groups, communities, and national authorities".

"Aid workers should be respected and should never be a target of attack," Armstrong added.

The ongoing civil war in Somalia has made the country a dangerous spot over the last few decades. Abductions and killings of Somali aid workers are common, but the targeting of foreign workers has become less frequent in recent years as security has tightened.

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

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the kidnapping.

The ICRC's staff told Reuters that the gunmen abducted their colleague from inside their compound and took her out through the back door, avoiding security guards positioned at the main entrance.

The Horn of Africa Country has suffered lawlessness since 1991 when warlords ousted the former dictator Siad Barre and then turned on each other.

Armed conflict has decreased in recent years but al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab militants still frequently launch attacks.

A Somali World Health Organisation employee in Mogadishu was shot dead by unidentified gunmen on Tuesday. A relative of the victim identified her as Maryan Abdullahi and said she was targeted at a market while buying intems for her wedding next week.

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