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Water NGO Leader Escapes Abduction Attempt In Somalia
MOGADISHU, 15 Oct. 2008 – Reports form Merka, the provincial capital of Lower Shabelle region at about 100km south of Mogadishu, reveal that the head of the Italian NGO ‘Water for Life', Hassan Mustafa, has narrowly escaped an abduction attempt by Somali militias on Wednesday morning.
Hassan Mustafa was heading to his office, when armed men opened fire on his car. This resulted in the death of his driver on early Wednesday morning.
“He is shocked, doctors are now examining him, but he is fine,” one of the NGO staff in Merka told APA by phone under anonymity.
“We don't know who the attackers were and why they wanted to abduct Mr. Hassan Mustafa,” he added.
In 30 June, Somali gunmen kidnapped four aid workers of the Italian NGO, including team leader Fadumo Hajiyow. Their whereabouts are still not known.
Early this month, an Italian United Nations employee Saverio Bertlino, representing the United Nations office for project services, escaped an assassination attempt in Merka. He was slightly injured.
According to international humanitarian agencies, at least 3.25 million Somalis are currently in need of emergency food aid.
Somalia has been without a functioning government since 1991. Endless wars, famine and draughts killed more than half a million people and displaced millions of others since then.