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Somali Official: Two Foreign Aid Workers Kidnapped

Frenchwoman Marie Dedieu died in captivity of Somali kidnappers, undated file photo.

Gunmen have kidnapped two foreign aid workers in central Somalia.

Ahmed Mahmud Hassan, a government official based in Somalia's Galmudug region, tells VOA's Somali Service that a man and a woman were seized Tuesday on their way to the airport in the city of Galkayo.

He says the pair, who worked for the Danish De-mining Group, was preparing to fly out of Galkayo after spending two days in the area teaching locals how to remove land mines.

The aid workers' nationalities are not known, and it is unclear who was behind the abductions.

Over the past month, gunmen have kidnapped four foreigners in northern Kenya and taken them into Somalia. The kidnap victims included two Spanish nationals working for the medical aid agency Doctors Without Borders.

Unidentified gunmen kidnapped French national Marie Dedieu from her private beach home in northern Kenya on October 1. She later died in captivity.

The Kenyan government blames those kidnappings on the Somali militant group al-Shabab, and has sent troops into Somalia in pursuit of the militants. Al-Shabab denies playing any role in the kidnappings.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.