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6 linked to French aid group kidnapped

world Updated: Nov 06, 2008 02:32 IST

AP
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Armed men ambushed a convoy carrying four European humanitarian workers and two Kenyan pilots in Somaliaon Wednesday and took all six hostage, an aid group and Bulgaria's Foreign Ministry said.

French aid group Action Against Hunger said the attack took place in the town of Dhusamareb, about 580 km north of the capital, Mogadishu, when the six were going to an airport to board a plane for the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, the Paris-based group said in a statement.

The plane was chartered by the European Commission. The attackers took the six away in a vehicle, the statement said.

The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry said two Kenyan pilots and four aid workers - two French citizens, one Belgian and a Bulgarian - were kidnapped. It said they were seized in late morning.

The ministry statement said no one was hurt and that there had been no contact with the kidnappers so far. The French Foreign Ministry did not immediately comment.

Action Against Hunger did not specify the nationalities of the aid workers. A spokeswoman for the group had said earlier that the two Kenyans were drivers, not pilots.

The group has 14 foreign staffers and 220 local employees working for its mission in Somalia, according to its Web site. They conduct projects aimed at promoting health and nutrition and access to clean water. The group has been present in the troubled East African nation since 1992, the Web site said.

Dhusamareb, where today's attack took place, is one of Action Against Hunger's three Somalian sites.