Foreign aid workers kidnapped from Kenya released in Somalia


Kenyan security forces search near Liboi, Kenya's border town with Somalia, where two Spanish aid workers were kidnapped from Kenya's Dadaab refugee camp on October 15, 2011. The aid workers were logistics officers for Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF, Doctors Without Borders).


Tony Karumba

Four foreign aid workers kidnapped from Kenya's Dadaab refugee camp, near the border with Somalia, have been released.

The aid workers were freed in southern Somalia after a brief gunfight, and are now safe with the Kenyan army, officials told Agence France-Presse. One was shot in the leg, but they are otherwise unharmed.

A Somali military commander said they were freed in a "overnight rescue operation" that involved both Kenyan and Somali troops, Reuters reported.

The foreigners, from Canada, Norway, Pakistan and the Philippines, worked for the Norwegian Refugee Council. 

A Kenyan driver was killed in the attack and kidnapping last Friday.

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A number of aid workers have been abducted from Dadaab in the last year, and many organizations have pulled out of the camp, which houses more than 450,000 Somalis.

At least 15 people were killed Sunday morning in grenade and gunfire attacks on two churches in the northern Kenyan town of Garissa, about 60 miles from the Dadaab camp.

Garissa, capital of Kenya's North Eastern Province, is home to a military base used to deploy ground forces to Somalia to fight al Shabaab Islamist insurgents.

Several parts of Kenya have been hit by blasts and grenade attacks since the military operation began last October.

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