Gunmen kidnap German nurse from ICRC in Somali capital

MOGADISHU – Unidentified gunmen kidnapped a German nurse from the International Committee of the Red Cross in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, on Wednesday night, police and the ICRC said.

While abductions and killings of Somali aid workers are common in the Horn of Africa country, the targeting of foreign workers has become far less frequent in recent years as security has improved.

“We got the report minutes after she was abducted and now we are searching the whole area. We hope we shall find her,” Major Mohamed Hussein, a police officer, told Reuters.

The ICRC said in a statement the abduction occurred around 8 pm (1700 GMT) on Wednesday.

“We are deeply concerned about the safety of our colleague,” said Daniel O’Malley, the 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,” he said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the abduction.

The Swiss-based agency, which has provided a range of humanitarian aid in Somalia for years, said in its statement early on Thursday it was in touch with a range of authorities but could not provide further information.

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