Somalia militants kill passenger and holding five hostages after UN helicopter crash, says official

UN aircraft on evacuation mission was forced to land in Galgudud region of central Somalia after mechanical failure

Somalia militant group al-Shabaab killed one passenger and is holding five others hostage after their United Nations helicopter made an emergency landing in territory controlled by the al-Qaeda affiliate, according to the regional minister of internal security.

The UN helicopter carrying soldiers and medical personal was on an evacuation mission and was forced to land in the Galgudud region of central Somalia after a mechanical failure, Mohamed Abdi Adan, the minister of internal security of the Galmudug state, said by telephone on Wednesday.

“Two of the seven passengers, one of whom was a Somali national, were able to escape with rifles, but another person who attempted to escape was killed by the militants,” Mr Abdi Adan said. “Militants took hostage the remaining individuals after the helicopter crashed.”

Al-Shabaab has been waging an insurgency against the Somali government since 2006 in a bid to establish its own rule based on a strict interpretation of sharia, Islamic law.


While the government has managed to ward off the militants from several territories since the mid-2010s, al-Shabaab controls swathes of land in southern and central Somalia and has continued to target civilians and stage attacks on military establishments. – Bloomberg/Reuters