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Somali Women’s Minister Kidnapped by Al-Shabaab in Drought Area

Somalia’s newly appointed minister of women’s development, Asha Osman Aqil, was kidnapped by al-Shabaab insurgents , said Work, Youth and Sports Minister Mohamed Muhidin Mursal.

Aqil was seized at Johwar, 90 kilometers northeast of the capital, Mogadishu, Mursal said in a phone interview today from the city. The minister was “assisting drought-affected people in Jowhar on behalf of non-governmental organizations” when she was captured, Mursal said.

The United Nations declared a famine in the Bakool and Lower Shabelle regions of southern Somalia yesterday following a prolonged drought.

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