4 January 2014

Somalia: Al Shabaab Militia Kidnaps WHO Official in Bay Region

Garowe — Gunmen from Al Qaeda linked Al Shabaab group Saturday abducted a Somali official working for the World Health Organization (WHO) in Bay region of southern Somalia, Garowe Online reports.

The WHO official whose name was identified as Dr. Abukar Hashim was providing medical services in vicinity that is situated about 15 km from Bay regional district of Buur-Hakaba when the gunmen kidnapped.

Witnesses reported that Dr. Hashim was hand-picked from a group of people and immediately transported by car to Bay region town of Dinsoor under heavy security.

"Dr. Hashim has been kidnapped and we are feeling grave concern over his condition," one of his relatives said.

WHO has been carrying out immunization campaign in the region where Al Shabaab militants still maintain presence.

On August 14,heavily armed militants belonging to Al Shabaab forced their way into offices and local hospital in Dinsoor district shortly after Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF)declared its decision of closing MSF medical programs in Somalia.

Dinsoor remains under the control of Al Qaeda linked Al Shabaab group and following "extreme abuses" by armed groups in southern Somalia, several relief agencies including MSF suspended their operations.


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