ICRC condemns the killing of 8 aid workers in Somalia by government soldiers

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is deeply shocked by the killing of eight people in Gololey village in the Balcad district in Hirshabelle, Somalia. Amongst those, seven are said to be health care workers working at a local health center. The ICRC strongly condemns such violence against staff health personnel.

Juerg Eglin, head of the ICRC Somalia delegation, said: “This is an appalling tragedy. Such attacks against health workers undermine the capacity to provide essential health care to the people at a time when they most urgently need it. Our thoughts are with the victims’ families.”

The attack occurred at a health facility run by a local NGO, the Zamzam Foundation.  A group of soldiers of the Somali national army have kidnapped and killed the aid workers on Wednesday afternoon but their bodies were found on Thursday.  

 “We ask Allah to elevate their status to the highest levels of heaven,” the statement said.

The leader of Hirshabelle state north of Mogadishu, Mohamed Abdi Ware, himself a former aid worker, described the killings as “the most painful” and told reporters he had appointed a task force to investigate.

The World Health Organization’s office in Somalia condemned the “barbaric and heinous” attack.

Somalia remains one of the most dangerous places in the world for aid workers.

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