NEW: The names of the victims are released
Two victims were from the U.N.'s World Food Programme
The third victim worked for a local aid agency
Two U.N. World Food Programme workers and a third colleague from a local agency were shot to death in Somalia Friday, the organization said.
The trio was attacked in Mataban town in Hiban Province in central Somalia, United Nations spokesman Martin Nesirky said.
The World Food Program said its two slain employees were Muhyedin Yarrow and Mohamed Salad. The third victim, Abdulahi Ali, worked for Doyale, one of agency’s partners.
The incident illustrates the risks that humanitarian workers can face working in dangerous and difficult environments, Nesirky said.
The aid workers were part of a mission in the area that was monitoring food distribution and camps for internally displaced people.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called “on authorities to ensure the safety of humanitarian workers,” a spokesperson said. “He expects those responsible to be swiftly brought to justice.”
The alleged shooter reportedly gave himself up and was arrested, the agency said.
World Food Programme operations in Mataban have been suspended while the case is investigated.
“WFP condemns the killing of people who devote their lives to helping others and extends its deepest condolences to the families of the victims,” the agency said in a statement.
Yarrow, 54, had worked for the agency for 13 years, and Salad, 28, joined the organization two years ago, it said.