Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

3 aid workers kidnapped in Somalia, Danish Demining group says

(CNN) Three aid workers — an American woman, a Danish man and a Somali man — have been kidnapped in Somalia, the Danish Demining Group said Tuesday.

Investigations are under way to find out what has happened to the three staff members, the group, which is part of the Danish Refugee Council, said in an online statement.

“We are keeping close contact with the family members, who are deeply concerned, just as we are,” said Ann Mary Olsen, head of the Danish Refugee Council’s international department.

The three workers were kidnapped by gunmen after visiting humanitarian projects, the council said. No shots were fired during the kidnapping, it said.

“The staff members are highly experienced and trained to work in high-risk places, such as Somalia,” Olsen added.

Denmark’s foreign minister, Villy Sovndal, told CNN’s Danish affiliate TV2 the situation is “very serious.”

“Our Africa office here at the Foreign Ministry is collecting information on what has happened. We are following it minute by minute. We are doing everything we can,” he said.

“We do not negotiate with kidnappers, but we offer all help and support that we can. But what this help will constitute we can’t say until we get all the facts on what has happened.”

Villads Zahle, head of press for the council, told CNN the three were working for the Danish Demining Group in northern Galkayo, considered part of Somalia’s Puntland province, at the time of the abduction.

The group does “humanitarian demining,” Zahle said, aimed at making civilians safe from landmines and unexploded ordnance.

The news that the workers were missing was confirmed by the council’s office in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, he added.

All Danish Refugee Group activities in the area have been temporarily suspended, the council’s online statement said.

Several high-profile abductions of foreigners have occurred in recent weeks in Kenya, close to the border with largely lawless Somalia. Those kidnappings have been blamed on the Somali Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab

October 26, 2011 Posted by | Africa, Civilian Contractors, Contractors Kidnapped, Demining, Explosive Remnants of War, Landmines, Safety and Security Issues, Somalia | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

American kidnapped in Pakistan / Gunmen kidnap American in Pakistan

The abducted man, Warren Weinstein, heads the Pakistan office for consulting
firm J.E. Austin Associates, Inc

Agence France-Presse   August 13, 2011

LAHORE, Pakistan, Aug 13, 2011 (AFP) – An American aid expert was kidnapped at gunpoint from his house in the Pakistani city of Lahore on Saturday after gunmen stormed through the back door and overpowered his guards, police said.

The U.S. embassy said the man had been identified as Warren Weinstein and that he works for a private company.

He was snatched at dawn in the upmarket neighbourhood of Model Town, just two days before he was due to return to the United States after more than four years in the deeply conservative nuclear-armed Muslim country of 167 million.

Police described how eight kidnappers forced their way into the house as Weistein’s guards ate a traditional pre-dawn meal at 3:30 am (2230 GMT Friday) before beginning the daily Ramadan fast of observant Muslims.

“Somebody knocked on the main door. According to one of the guards when he opened the door, he saw three men standing there. They offered meals to the guard, who politely refused,” police official Tajamul Hussain told AFP.

“Five more men climbed into the house using the back door, overpowered the guards and tied their hands behind their back.

“They asked Weinstein’s driver to knock on his bedroom door. When the U.S. citizen opened the door, they snatched him,” Hussain said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the kidnapping.

U.S. embassy spokesman Alberto Rodriguez confirmed the seizure and told AFP: “We are working with Pakistani authorities on this issue

UPI   August 13, 2011

LAHORE, Pakistan, Aug. 13 (UPI) — A U.S. businessman was kidnapped Saturday from his home in Lahore, Pakistan, by a group of armed men, police said.

Police told The Nation newspaper “some two dozen” armed men converged on the guarded home of 65-year-old Jason Warner and abducted him around 3:30 a.m.

Several security guards were injured at Warner’s compound during the attack, the newspaper said.

The BBC said Warner works as a contractor associated with the U.S. government in foreign aid.

Warner has lived in Pakistan for seven years and maintains a principal residence in Islamabad, but also had a home south in Lahore, The Nation said.

There was no immediate report of demands for ransom

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August 13, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractors Kidnapped, Pakistan, State Department, USAID | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment