Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Somalia's number one growth industry: Kidnapping

Aid worker killed, 4 kidnapped.

Somali officials say gunmen shot and killed the chairman of the Asal aid agency Monday in Mogadishu's Bakara market.

Also Monday, at least four other aid workers, with the Italian charity Water For Life, were kidnapped from the town of Afgooye. Local officials say they were abducted from their car while traveling to Mogadishu.

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the kidnapping although the article goes on to note:

Suspicion for the kidnappings often falls on clan militias or Islamist insurgents who are fighting the Somali government and its Ethiopian military allies.

These aid workers are not to be confused with last week's kidnapping of the three Germans and French yacht captain. (Please note that the kidnappers in this case are demanding a ransom of 1 million dollars and according to the website Yachtpals, the German government is refusing to comment on the situation and asking them to do the same - that usually means a deal is in the works.)

With that said, and at the request of the German government, we are limiting the amount of information we are making available to you, our readers. While we completely understand the global community's eagerness to find out the details of the attack, and will continue to provide updates, we will not be releasing the names at this point, the location of where the hostages are believed to be, or any activities currently under way or being planned to secure their safe release. We will also not be confirming the accuracy of other's reports of this matter.

(p.s. Don't confuse these captives with the Scandinavian duo kidnapped this past weekend. Their release was negotiated by tribal elders and no ransom was paid.

Also, the 5 Filipinos kidnapped from the Dutch ship Amiya Scan back on May 25th? Well they arrived back home in Manila today.)