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ICRC Workers Kidnapped in Ethiopia Reported Alive, Well

Two workers for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) who were abducted by armed men earlier this week in Ethiopia are alive and well, Red Cross officials say.

The employees - an Ethiopian working for the ICRC in Ethiopia and an engineer with the Irish Red Cross - were kidnapped Monday in the southeast Somali region.

Irish Red Cross Secretary-General Carmel Dunne describes to VOA what has happened since then.

"We haven't much word from them, only that they have spoken to the Red Cross and they are both well. The International Red Cross are negotiating and are speaking to the group who took them," she said.

Dunne says the abductors have not asked for ransom or made other demands, and explains that the International Committee of the Red Cross does not know who the kidnappers are.

"We have no reason to believe that this could happen in this area. Our priority at the moment is the safety of the two individuals and we're just asking if whatever group has them, to release them," she added.

Dunne says the International Committee of the Red Cross has suspended its work in the area for the time being.

VOA could not reach government officials for comment. The French new agency quoted a government spokesman as saying the government is investigating the incident.

The Somali region is home to the rebel group Ogaden National Liberation Front. But it is unclear whether or not the abductors were from that group.