Aid workers kidnapped in Somalia are alive and well

Story highlights

  • Jessica Buchanan and Poul Hagen Thisted were kidnapped last week
  • They had been working for the demining unit of a Danish aid group
  • The group says contact was established with the kidnapped employees
Two foreign aid workers kidnapped last week in Somalia are alive and well, a Danish aid group said Sunday.
Jessica Buchanan, 32, and Poul Hagen Thisted, 60, were abducted by gunmen Tuesday after visiting humanitarian projects in the northern Galkayo area, the Danish Refugee Council said.
"I have been told that contact was established today, and I am pleased to announce that both Poul and Jessica are doing well given the circumstances," said Ann Mary Olsen, head of the council's international department.
Buchanan is from the United States, while Thisted is from Denmark.
Both were working for the council's demining unit, which aims to make civilians safe from landmines and unexploded ordnance.
The U.S. State Department confirmed last week that a U.S. citizen had been kidnapped in northern Somalia but declined to give more details, citing privacy laws.
A number of high-profile abductions of foreigners have occurred in recent weeks in Kenya, close to the border with largely lawless Somalia. Those kidnappings have been blamed on the Somali Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab.