Somali officials said armed men have abducted four foreign aid workers and their two pilots from an airstrip in central Somalia.

Officials said the kidnappings took place Wednesday shortly after the six landed in Dhusa Mareb town, near the border with Ethiopia. The workers were part of the French charity Action Against Hunger [Action Contre La Faim].

Somali sources said the aid workers include two French nationals, a Bulgarian and a Belgian. The two kidnapped pilots are from Kenya.

It is unclear who was behind the attack.

Somalia is considered one of the most dangerous places in the world for aid agencies to operate, but also is one of the countries where their assistance is needed most.

In October, two aid workers were shot dead in the southern part of the country. Somali gunmen are still holding aid workers for the French charity Medecins du Monde who were kidnapped across the Ethiopian border in September.

Somalia has not had a stable government since 1991 when a coup toppled President Mohamed Siad Barre.

Aid agencies said more than a million people have fled their homes to escape the fighting this year alone.


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