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Somalia identifies suspect in kidnapping of German nurse

Somalia identifies suspect in kidnapping of German nurse


<p><strong>A security guard employed by the International Committee of the Red Cross was involved in the kidnapping of a German nurse working for the organisation in Mogadishu, the Somali government said Thursday.</strong></p> <p>The nurse, identified as Sonja Nientiet, was abducted from the <span class="caps">ICRC</span> compound at around 8.00 pm local time (1700 <span class="caps">GMT</span>) on Wednesday evening when unidentified armed men entered its premises.</p> <p>Security ministry spokesman Abdiaziz Ali Ibrahim said one of the Red Cross security guards was involved, after local staff reported the gunmen had easily managed to sneak Nientiet out through a back entrance into a waiting vehicle.</p> <p>“She was kidnapped by a member of <span class="caps">ICRC</span>’s own security guards in Mogadishu, the kidnapper’s name is Mohamud Mohamed Alas,” he said.</p> <p>“We particularly request the family of the kidnapper to work with the security agencies and inform them of the whereabouts of their son.”</p> <p>He said security forces had found an abandoned vehicle belonging to the kidnappers, and witnesses told <span class="caps">AFP</span> the car had been abandoned with a punctured tyre.</p> <p>It was unclear whether the kidnappers had managed to leave Mogadishu with their hostage.</p> <p>Nientiet’s LinkedIn profile says she has worked for the organisation since 2014, with postings in Jordan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Syria.</p> <p>The abduction is the second attack on <span class="caps">ICRC</span> employees in Somalia in just over a week.</p> <p>Abdulhafid Yusuf Ibrahim, a Somali national who had worked for the group for only five months, died on March 25 after an improvised bomb exploded beneath his car as he left the <span class="caps">ICRC</span> office.</p> <h3>Bombings, assassinations, abductions</h3> <p>Unlike many other international aid agencies working in Somalia, the <span class="caps">ICRC</span> does not base itself within the well-defended perimeter of Mogadishu’s airport, which is protected by African Union soldiers.</p> <p>The airport acts as the city’s “Green Zone” housing foreign embassies and the United Nations which coordinates the humanitarian and political responses to Somalia’s crises.</p> <p>Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who is visiting Ethiopia and Tanzania this week, told journalists in Addis Ababa he would not comment “on any hostage cases”.</p> <p>“I have deep respect for all people, especially people from Germany, working abroad in order to help others,” Maas added.</p> <p>Somalia, which collapsed into civil war in 1991 and has been wracked by an Al-Qaeda-linked Islamist insurgency since 2006. It is one of the world’s most dangerous countries for aid workers but abductions remain relatively unusual.</p> <p><strong><em><span class="caps">AFP</span></em></strong></p>

She was kidnapped by a member of ICRC's own security guards in Mogadishu, the kidnapper's name is Mohamud Mohamed Alas.

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