Two European aid workers with Medecins Sans Frontieres who were abducted by gunmen in Somalia nine days ago have been released. The two men were kidnapped in their car with their Somali bodyguards in Hudur, Bakol region, on 19 April.

new-som4The Belgian doctor and Danish nurse had reportedly been carrying out a nutrition study. Sheikh Aden Yare, of the Islamist al-Shabab, told Reuters news agency the pair had been freed without condition.

“This will not happen again,” he was quoted as saying. The BBC Somali Service says al-Shabab controls the area where the aid workers were seized, but the kidnappers were local gunmen, not thought to be affiliated to any group.

Hassan Mohamed, an elder involved in the negotiations, told AFP news agency: “After days of tough talks, we finally succeeded in freeing the hostages and now they are in the hands of the elders.”

The Horn of Africa nation is one of the world’s most dangerous places for relief workers. The UN estimates 35 aid staff were killed last year and 26 abducted in Somalia, which has not had a functioning government since 1991.



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