Three Aid Workers Killed in Somalia

Posted December 23rd, 2011 at 11:00 am (UTC-5)
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Three relief workers in Somalia are dead, gunned down near a food distribution center.

The shooting took place Friday near the central settlement of Mataban. The World Food Program says two of the victims worked directly for the relief agency, and that the third was a contractor.

Mataban district Chairman Abdurrahman Abdi Jama tells VOA a suspect is in custody. He says the man was the owner of a private food distribution center and was apparently upset that the WFP was not delivering food to his center.

Mataban is about 30 kilometers from the border with Ethiopia, in an area where fighters from insurgent group al-Shabab and other militias are known to operate.

Al-Shabab has blocked most international aid groups from operating in areas it controls, some of which were declared famine zones earlier this year.

The World Food Program says it has temporarily suspended operations in the area.