12/30/2011

Two aid workers shot dead in Somalia

AL JAZEERA

Doctors Without Borders staff killed by former employee in shootout at agency's office in Mogadishu.
Two international aid workers have been shot and killed in the Somali capital, a police and medical officials said.
The workers were employees of the aid group Doctors Without Borders (known by its French acronym, MSF), and were shot by a disgruntled former employee of the same organisation during an incident on Thursday.
Ahmed Ali, a security guard for the aid group, said the two were attacked by a Somali employee who was dismissed from his job running the groups' logistics on Wednesday.
"We confirm that a serious shooting incident has taken place in the MSF compound in Mogadishu," said spokeswoman Maimouna Jallow. "At this point we don't have more information about the scale and the extent of the incident. MSF is doing everything it can to ensure the security of its staff."
Somali security forces arrested the man, a witness told the AFP news agency. The gunman will be questioned on Friday, Mohamed Ibrahim, a Somali security officer, said.
The first victim died shortly after the attack. The second victim was taken to a hospital for treatment, but succumbed to his wounds, doctors said.
"The second victim died at the hospital as doctors were trying to save him," said Dumiya Ali, deputy director of the Medina hospital.
The nationalities of the aid workers were not immediately known, but reports indicated that one was French and the other Indonesian.

Place of danger
Mogadishu remains one of the most dangerous locations for aid workers to operate in, with many groups not allowing international workers to stay in the capital for extended periods.
International aid workers face potential attacks from rebel fighters and kidnappings for ransom.
Such incidents are often blamed on the al-Shabab group, but it is unclear if they were responsible for Thursday's attack. The group's media office sent out a series of tweets [https://twitter.com/#!/HSMPress] as the attack was taking place.
They said a "fierce battle is now raging" inside the MSF building in Mogadishu. "A gunman has stormed the building & opened fire on MSF staff inside."
In the last such attack on international aid workers in Somalia, three somali aid workers were killed in the central Hiran region. In mid-October, two Spaniards working for MSF were seized by gunmen in Kenya's Dadaab refugee camp, about 100km from the Somali border.