Friday, July 22, 2011
MOGADISHU — Al Qaeda-inspired insurgents abducted and detained
Somalia's newly appointed women's minister Thursday while she was on
her way to take up office, officials and witnesses told AFP.
Osman Aqiil was named women and family affairs minister on Wednesday.
She was kidnapped by the Shebab fighters in Balad town, some 30
kilometres (19 miles) north of the capital Mogadishu.
Aqiil... is in a jail in Balad town... after she was kidnapped on her
way to Mogadishu to take her new post," said Ahmed Sheikh Mohamud, a
"It is unfortunate that she is in the hands of the
wrong people and we are praying that she is freed," a lawmaker told AFP
on condition of anonymity.
Aqiil's kidnapping is likely to cause
security concerns for foreign relief groups planning to resume
operations Shebab-controlled regions after the rebels lifted a ban on
their work and asked for aid in the face of a severe drought.
hardline rebels rule much of southern and central Somalia where they
have imposed strict Islamic laws, including prohibiting women from
holding public office.