Somali gunmen demand $4 mn to free aid workers

April 22nd, 2009 - 9:09 am ICT by IANS  

Mogadishu, April 22 (Xinhua) The Somali gunmen holding two foreign aid workers hostage in southern Somalia have demanded a ransom of $4 million for releasing the captives.
“We are the people holding the hostages, a Dutch and a Belgian, working for MSF (Medicins Sans Frontieres) and we demand that anyone with a pity for these men should pay us $4 million,” Ibrahim Ali Hassan, the self-proclaimed gang leader, told Shabelle Radio in Mogadishu Tuesday.

The two hostages were abducted Monday by a group of armed men as they travelled in the southern Somali region of Bakool.

One of the hostage, who also spoke to the radio station, identified himself as Georgen from Belgium and informed that another man from the Netherlands was also under the captivity of the gunmen.

The gang leader said the situation in which they are holding hostages is “tough one with no adequate water and food”. He did not say where they were holding the hostages but acknowledged that they took the hostages for “money” and called for the ransom to be paid “as soon as possible”.

Several foreign nationals, including journalists and aid workers, have been under the captive of several criminal gangs who are demanding ransom for thier release.

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