Five Aid Workers Freed In Mogadishu; Four Still Held
Five of nine expatriate aid workers held captive in the Somali capital were handed over early Wednesday to the transitional administration, government officials said.
Four UN officials were still being held, and their fate was unclear.
Two of those released were United Nations staff and three employees of the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) medical aid organization.
They had been abducted on Tuesday during fighting that erupted between two militia groups near an MSF compound in north Mogadishu.
The expatriates were taken to a house belonging to politician Abduraman Muhamud "Shifti" when the fighting between rival militias erupted, during an attack on the MSF compound in north Mogadishu by militiamen loyal to warlord Musa Sudi Yalahow, according to an AFP reporter in Mogadishu.
The fate of the four others, who were abducted by Yalahow's fighters, remained unclear.
Those released were handed over to transitional government officials following negotiations between the governor of Mogadishu Ali Ugas Abdulle and Yalahow's gunmen.
Six of the nine were UN staff and three employees of the MSF.
The four UN international officials still in the hands of Yalahow's militiamen were on a brief assessment trip to Mogadishu when they were taken hostage during a protracted gun battle with a rival group outside the MSF compound.
The UN staffers involved in the saga were from the United States, Britain, Belgium and Algeria. Two MSF workers were from Spain and one from France -- MOGADISHU (AFP)
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)