NAIROBI: Four foreign aid workers, including a Canadian woman of Pakistani origin, in Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camp were released overnight in southern Somalia after a short gunfight, and were safe with the Kenyan army, officials said Monday.
“They are safe in our hands, they have been freed,” Kenyan army spokesman Cyrus Oguna told AFP, adding that the two men and two women seized on Friday were released after a joint operation of Kenyan and Somali troops.
The Pakistani Canadian woman was identified as Qurat-Ul-Ain Sadazai, employed by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).
Others include, NRC aid workers from Canada, Norway and the Philippines.
“They were released in a joint force of Somali and Kenyan forces, during which one of the kidnappers was killed.”
One has a bullet wound to the leg but they are otherwise unharmed.
“They are exhausted, they have walked far and have blisters, and one of the aid workers was shot in the leg, but otherwise they are in good health,” Oguna said, adding they were now in the southern Somali border town of Dhobley.
“They are recieving medical attention at our base while they await transfer back to Kenya,” Oguna added.
Mohamed Dini Adan, the Somali military commander in Dhobley, said the army had stopped the “kidnappers who were trying to hide and sneak past the army.”
A Kenyan driver was killed and two others were wounded during Friday’s attack.
The kidnapping was the latest in a series of attacks in Dadaab, where gunmen last October seized two Spaniards working for Medecins sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders). They are still being held hostage in Somalia.
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