A United Nations helicopter, tasked with medical evacuation, faces a dire situation in Somalia when it crash-landed 70 kilometers southeast of Dhusamareb in the Galmudug state. Al-Shabab, an al-Qaeda-linked militant group, seized control of the aircraft and reportedly took several passengers hostage. The helicopter, which took off from Beledweyne city in central Somalia, was carrying nine passengers, including military personnel and third-party contractors. The nationalities of the passengers remain unspecified, and there are unverified reports of one passenger being killed under unclear circumstances, while two others managed to flee.
The United Nations mission in Somalia (UNSOM) has confirmed the incident and stated that response efforts are underway. However, details remain sparse due to the sensitive nature of the situation and the ongoing efforts to resolve it. The World Food Programme (WFP) clarified that the aircraft was not a WFP or UN Humanitarian Air Service craft and no WFP personnel were on board. As a precaution, all UN flights in the area have been temporarily suspended.