AL-SHABAB SEIZES UN HELICOPTER WITH EIGHT ONBOARD IN CENTRAL SOMALIA
The armed Islamist group, al-Shabab, has reportedly captured a United Nations helicopter along with eight individuals, including passengers and
The armed Islamist group, al-Shabab, has reportedly captured a United Nations helicopter along with eight individuals, including passengers and crew, in central Somalia. The UN’s mission in Somalia (Unsom) acknowledged an “aviation incident” involving a UN-contracted helicopter on a medical evacuation mission. While not explicitly mentioning al-Shabab, Unsom stated that response efforts are underway. The helicopter crash-landed approximately 70km southeast of Dhusamareb, with no UN staff on board, as per a UN memo. The seized helicopter, carrying unidentified third-party contractors, was en route to Wisil town for an offensive against al-Shabab when it landed. Al-Shabab, affiliated with al-Qaeda, controls significant portions of southern and central Somalia, conducting a prolonged insurgency for nearly two decades. The nationalities of those onboard remain unspecified, but reports indicate one passenger killed and two others fleeing. Galmudug region Security Minister Mohamed Abdi Adan confirmed the helicopter seizure. The UN’s World Food Programme clarified that the aircraft was not affiliated with them, leading to a temporary suspension of WFP flights in the region as a precaution. The Somali government has heightened efforts against the al-Qaeda-linked group in recent months.
Quest: Emmanuel kelvin