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German Aid Worker Freed After Armed Kidnapping in Somalia

A German aid worker in northern Somalia was freed by local police on Wednesday, Feb. 13, after being kidnapped by armed bandits the day before.

somali policemen

Somali police freed the man

The development worker is free and doing well, said a spokeswoman for German Agro Action, the Bonn-based aid organization that the kidnapped man was working for in Somalia.

He had been traveling by car, along with a German aid worker, a Somali colleague and their driver, to a fishermen's meeting in the northern region of Somaliland. They were attacked about 64 kilometers (40 miles) north of Erigavo, according to reports.

When the shooting intensified, the driver stopped and fled. He was slightly injured in the skirmish. The bandits then dragged the aid worker from the car and took him into the mountains.

Police rescued the man in a night raid early Wednesday morning, said local authorities.

The aid worker had been working for German Agro Action in Somalia for nearly two years. He was the project manager for a major food provision initiative.

Somalia's provisional government, with support from Ethiopia, is in conflict with Islamic insurgent groups, and violence has increased dramatically over the past year. German Agro Action is one of the few aid organizations that still has staff in the disputed northern Somaliland region.

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