Somali women’s minister abducted by Islamists


Al Qaeda-inspired insurgents abducted and detained Somalia’s newly appointed women’s minister Thursday while she was on her way to take up office, officials and witnesses told AFP. Asha Osman Aqiil was named women and family affairs minister on Wednesday. She was kidnapped by the Shebab fighters in Balad town, some 30 kilometres (19 miles) north of the capital Mogadishu.
“Asha Osman Aqiil… is in a jail in Balad town… after she was kidnapped on her way to Mogadishu to take her new post,” said Ahmed Sheikh Mohamud, a clan elder. “It is unfortunate that she is in the hands of the wrong people and we are praying that she is freed,” a lawmaker told AFP on condition of anonymity.