Officials say one aid worker has been killed in the Somali capital Mogadishu, while at least four others have been kidnapped in a nearby town.

Somali officials say gunmen shot and killed the chairman of the Asal aid agency Monday in Mogadishu's Bakara market.

Also Monday, at least four other aid workers, with the Italian charity Water For Life, were kidnapped from the town of Afgooye.

Local officials say they were abducted from their car while traveling to Mogadishu.

Kidnappings have been on the rise in Somalia, which has not had a stable central government in 17 years.

Last week, pirates seized four foreign tourists in the Puntland region, while gunmen south of Mogadishu seized the head of local operations for the U.N. refugee agency.

Hostages in Somalia are generally released alive in exchange for large ransoms.

Suspicion for the kidnappings often falls on clan militias or Islamist insurgents who are fighting the Somali government and its Ethiopian military allies.

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