Two foreign aid workers released in Somalia

Two foreign aid workers released in Somalia Nairobi/Mogadishu - Two European aid workers employed by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) who were kidnapped in Somalia over a week ago have been released, reports said Tuesday. The BBC cited militant Islamist group al-Shabaab as saying it had released the Danish nurse and Belgian doctor.

However, a regional spokeswoman for MSF in the Kenyan capital Nairobi could not immediately confirm the reports.

The pair were taken nine days ago on the way to Hudur, the capital of the Bakol region in south-west Somalia.

A bloody insurgency is ongoing in Somalia, where al-Shabaab is fighting the western-backed government.

Aid workers and journalists have been regular targets for abduction and murder. According to the UN, 35 employees of aid agencies were killed and 26 kidnapped in Somalia last year.

Over 15,000 civilians have died in since early 2007 in the insurgency, which began after Ethiopian troops helped kick out the Union of Islamic Courts from power.

Somalia has been mired in chaos since the 1991 ouster of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre. (dpa)