Somalia: UN official still held by Somali security

By NNN-somalinet

Mogadishu : A day after being seized by Somali security forces in the capital Mogadishu, the World Food Programme’s top official in Somalia remained in custody on Thursday, officials said.

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Between 50 and 60 armed members of Somalia’s National Security Service stormed a UN compound in Mogadishu early Wednesday and arrested Idris Mohamed Osman at gunpoint.

“Idris is still under arrest… his relatives and other colleagues were not allowed to visit him today (Thursday),” said a local UN official in Mogadishu.

The government has yet to comment on Osman’s arrest. He is being held in a cell near the presidential palace.

“We hope that Idris will be released soon because he is innocent and did nothing wrong,” the official added.

Osman’s arrest prompted the WFP to immediately halt food distribution to thousands of residents displaced by relentless fighting between the government and Islamist insurgents since early this year.

His detention came two days after the agency resumed distributing food to 75,600 people in Mogadishu. The supplies had first been suspended on June 25.

Somalia has lacked an effective central government since the 1991 ouster of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre touched off near-endless conflicts that have defied several attempts to restore stability.

Meanwhile, armed men opened fire at a crowd in capital Mogadishu killing three people including the police commissioner of Argentine a section of Karan district in Mogadishu.

Two other civilians were also wounded.

According to a report, the commissioner was at the tax collection center in the district at the time of the attack.

The armed attackers were armed with pistols, the vigilantes of the district exchanged fire with the attackers and in this the police commissioner of Argentine Mr. Abdi Hassan and two of his bodyguards passed away, witnesses said.

Abdullah Ahmed Roble told Shabelle radio that the attackers were driving in a mini bus, locally known as Homey. The attackers escaped uncaught.

In AFGOI district, there were no casualties in a road side bomb attack Thursday morning at Bar Ismael road targetting vehicles passing by.

News sources said Ethiopian troops arrived at the spot after the explosion and began investigation pertaining to the motive of the explosion and no one was taken legally responsible on that matter.

It’s the third explosion that happened at Bar Ismael with in a month.