DFA: Kidnapped Pinoy aid worker in Kenya recovered, now safe
(Updated 5:54 p.m.) The Filipino aid worker abducted in Kenya last Friday has been recovered from his kidnappers after a brief firefight in southern Somalia, the spokesperson for the Kenyan army said Monday.
In Manila, Foreign Affairs spokesperson Raul Hernandez confirmed that Philippine Ambassador to Kenya Domingo Lucenario has been informed by representatives of the Norwegian Refugee Council that their Filipino employee is now safe and is on his way to Nairobi, Kenya.
Hernandez identified the Filipino aid worker as Glenn Costes. The DFA official added that Costes’ three other abducted non-Filipino colleagues have also been safely recovered.
A separate report from Agence France-Presse quoted Kenyan Army spokesman Cyrus Oguna as saying that the kidnap victims were rescued overnight in a joint operation launched by Kenyan and Somali troops.
Oguna said the operation left one of the kidnappers dead and three others arrested after a short gunfight. He added that the firefight took place after the abductors tried to flee to a forested area.
Costes and his co-workers were abducted last Friday by unidentified gunmen in Ifo2 West Dadaab refugee camp, located about 100 km from the Somali border.
Kenya, which invaded southern Somalia in October to attack al Qaeda-linked insurgents, has troops some 120 kilometers deep into Somalia. However, the forces control only pockets of the vast territory.
Last October, two Spaniards working for Medecins sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) were also abducted in Dadaab. They are still being held hostage in Somalia.
Hernandez said Ambassador Lucenario will meet with Costes once the Filipino aid worker arrives in Nairobi.
Costes will undergo a medical checkup and debriefing to check his condition, Hernandez said, adding that the department is prepared to extend any form of assistance to Costes.
The AFP report said one of the rescued kidnap victims sustained a bullet wound on the leg, but did not specify which aid worker was injured.
In the same report, Oguna said the kidnap victims “are exhausted” and “have blisters” since they were forced to walk far by their abductors.
Last March, 10 Filipino sailors were also abducted by Somali pirates from a sea vessel near the Gulf of Aden. Two of these sailors died while eight were rescued. — with Agence France-Presse/RSJ/HS, GMA News
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