Somali police seize German hostage and wife from abductors

23rd September 2008, Comments 0 comments

A German Foreign Ministry spokesman confirmed the couple's release and said they had been in contact with the German embassy in Nairobi.

Nairobi/Mogadishu – Somali police freed a German citizen and his local wife who were kidnapped Saturday by gunmen in the breakaway northern Somali region of Puntland, an official said Monday.

"The Somali police used force, injuring two of the gunmen; the operation was successful," Andrew Mwangura of the East African Seafarers' Assistance Program told DPA. "The hostages are safe and in the hands of the rescue group and the wife's clan members."

A German Foreign Ministry spokesman confirmed the couple's release and said they had been in contact with the German embassy in Nairobi.

The man and his wife were in good health and told embassy officials they were glad their ordeal was over, the spokesman said in Berlin.

Police launched the operation on the gunmen's hideout near the port town of Bosasso in the early hours of Monday morning.

Somalia has been plagued by chaos since the overthrow of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.

The weak central government has been unable to suppress a brutal insurgency that has gripped the country since early 2007 and has also failed to curb rampant piracy off the coastline.

Over a dozen ships are in the hands of pirates seeking ransom.

Foreigners are also often targeted for kidnap and murder on land in the Horn of Africa nation, although mainly in the lawless central and southern regions where the insurgency is concentrated.

DPA/Expatica

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