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Ukrainians among captives of Somali militants after UN helicopter crash

Four Ukrainian citizens and five other foreigners were taken hostage by Somali militants who seized a crashed UN helicopter in Somalia, Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry spox said.
Somali militants
Somali militants. Credit: AFP.
Ukrainians among captives of Somali militants after UN helicopter crash

Anti-government forces in Somalia have seized a crashed United Nations mission helicopter with four Ukrainian citizens onboard, Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleh Nikolenko said.

According to Oleh Nikolenko, four Ukrainians and five foreigners were on board the UN helicopter seized by Somali militants. Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry spokesman reported that the names of the captured have been identified.

“We are finding out all the details of the crash and hijacking, the condition of the Ukrainians, and establishing contact with the company that owns the helicopter to coordinate actions. We are keeping this situation under special control together with other involved agencies of our state,” Oleh Nikolenko said.

According to Oleh Nikolenko, the helicopter belongs to a Ukrainian private company that was fulfilling a contract for transportation ordered by the UN. The Ukrainian Embassy in Kenya and the Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the UN in New York have already received urgent instructions from the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry to take the necessary measures, Oleh Nikolenko wrote on Facebook.

On 10 January 2024, the BBC reported that the Somali armed Islamist group al-Shabab had seized a UN helicopter with passengers and crew.

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