Somali gunmen kidnap foreign aid workers: official
Somali gunmen kidnapped 3 foreign aid workers on Saturday in a raid on a Kenyan border town, the latest attack on relief workers, an official and Somali residents said, Reuters reported.
"The authorities in Mandera (in Kenya) told us that those aid workers had been kidnapped. We're now going to run after them," Sheikh Osman, an al Shabaab official in the neighboring district in Somalia, said.
The nationalities of the aid workers and the organization for which they were working were not immediately clear.
Kidnappings in the Horn of Africa nation are fairly common -- usually of Somalis, sometimes of foreigners and increasingly of ship crews off the coast. They are a symptom of an 18-year conflict that has killed tens of thousands.
In the past, most foreigners kidnapped in Somalia have been released unharmed after a ransom payment.
On Friday, Somalia's al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab movement took possession of two French hostages seized at a Mogadishu hotel on Tuesday. The Frenchmen were working as security advisers to President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed's government.
Al Shabaab was the armed wing of the Islamic Courts movement that controlled Mogadishu and much of the south in 2006 before being ousted by an Ethiopian offensive.
Somalia's government and a 4,300-strong African Union force have been unable to take control of rebel strongholds in Mogadishu and other parts of the country despite international support and training.