Al-Shabab captures UN helicopter with 6 aid workers in central Somalia


This is a breaking news story, more details to follow.

A helicopter belonging to the United Nations mission in Somalia has been captured by al-Shabab after accidentally landing on Wednesday afternoon in territory held by the armed group, according to multiple local reports.

At least six aid workers who were on the plane are now being held by the al-Qaeda-linked armed group which has wreaked violence in the Horn of Africa for decades.

The helicopter landed close to Gaboon village in the Galgaduud region due to a technical glitch, according to a UN memo seen by Al Jazeera. A UN official in Mogadishu also confirmed the incident to Al Jazeera.

According to the memo, there were nine passengers on the plane including military personnel and a third-party contractor. Six of them were reportedly taken by the group while 2 passengers escaped and remain at large.

“All UN flights have been temporarily suspended in the vicinity until further notice,” part of the memo read.

Other details including the nationality of those on board, remain unclear. The Somali government is also yet to comment on the reports.


More to come.

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