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Japanese aid worker taken hostage in Ethiopia

By Shiomi Kadoya, Yomiuri Shimbun

JOHANNESBURG – Two aid workers, believed to be a Japanese woman and a Dutchman, working for the nongovernmental organization Medecins du Monde, were abducted Monday afternoon in the eastern region of Ethiopia, the group said Wednesday.

An armed gang is suspected to have kidnapped the two in the Ogaden region, which is close to the Somali border, while they were working. They are believed to have been taken to the central part of Somalia.

An administrator in Somalia’s central area sent security officials to a village there “to investigate an alleged sighting of a sport-utility vehicle with armed men and two white people, but the vehicle had left by the time they arrived,” according to an AP report.

The Paris-based aid group, which has been operating in the Ogaden region, has set up an emergency team.

The group said it is in close contact with the relevant authorities and is trying to help secure the pair’s release.

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