MOGADISHU (AFP) — A UN World Food Programme (WFP) employee suffered gunshot wounds Saturday after his vehicle was attacked in southern Somalia, a United Nations source said.
The WFP employee "was attacked by an unidentified militia; they wounded him as he was on his way home" in the city of Merka, around 100 kilometres (60 miles) south of Mogadishu, a local UN official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
A witness told AFP that the driver of the vehicle accelerated and fled when their assailants opened fire. The man was taken to hospital in Merka for treatment.
Local police confirmed that they are investigating the shooting.
It was the second attack on a WFP employee in Somalia in August after a WFP worker and his driver were abducted from the town of Dinsor, around 350 kilometres west of Mogadishu, and reported dead on August 18.
Another five of the organisation's drivers were killed in earlier incidents this year.
Aid groups have scaled down operations in Somalia owing to growing insecurity largely blamed on Islamist militants who have waged a guerrilla war since they were ousted by joint Somali-Ethiopian forces in early 2007.
At least 2.6 million Somalis face hunger due to acute food shortfalls spurred by prolonged drought, insecurity and high inflation. UN famine monitors warn the figure could hit 3.5 million by the end of the year.
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