UN condemns killing of 2 polio workers in Somalia

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) confirmed Tuesday that two frontline workers were killed in a militant attack in Mogadishu.

UN said the polio workers risked their lives to provide critical health services to vulnerable Somali children and offered condolences to the families.

“UNICEF is shocked by the attack earlier today in Mogadishu, in which two humanitarian workers tragically lost their lives. These brave polio workers were on the frontlines, risking their lives to provide critical health services to vulnerable children. We offer our deepest condolences to the families of the victims.

“Attacks on health workers are a violation of international law and must not be tolerated. UNICEF condemns the cowardly attack in the strongest terms and calls on the authorities to conduct a comprehensive investigation. Humanitarian workers should never be a target.”

Somalia is among high-risk polio outbreak countries because of its fragile and vulnerable population that mostly includes nomads, displaced people and those living in rural and slum areas.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack but Somali-based, al-Qaeda-affiliated militant group, al-Shabaab, has claimed responsibility in the past for similar attacks in the Horn of Africa country.