On the afternoon of July11, 2012, an IAS team was traveling back from a water and education assessment project in the region of Galkayo in Puntland, Somalia. Having completed a long day of work, the IAS team (three Kenyan nationals and a local Somali IAS worker) was traveling in two vehicles, the first being an armed security escort. At approximately 3:00 pm, they came under attack by a band of fourteen Somali pirates.
The pirates fired indiscriminately into the IAS convoy, outnumbering and overpowering the four Puntland officers. Two officers suffered minor injuries from the gunfight, and the local Somali IAS worker, Axmed Isse, was critically wounded. The remaining three IAS employees (Janet Kanga, Martin Kioko and Abdinoor Boru) were kidnapped and taken deep into a region of Somalia controlled by the pirates.
Axmed was first taken to a regional hospital, but was later transported to Kenya for additional medical treatment. Upon arrival in Kenya, it was determined that the shot to his kidney had ruptured his colon, and he had also contracted malaria and several infections to his wounds. At press time, Axmed remains in serious condition but is expected to recover.
IAS has received word that our three Kenyan staff members are safe and are being well treated by their captors. At the time of publication, no official demands have been received from the kidnappers. IAS has formed a crisis management team that is working on a daily basis for the successful release of our team members.
The abduction of the IAS team in Somalia has caused several aid agencies operating in the area to suspend their activities, due to the increased security risks and the possibility of further kidnappings of expatriate staff. With aid agencies suspending their activities, it is the impoverished recipients of that aid in the Somali region who suffer most.
“For the weapons of our
warfare are not of the flesh,
but have divine power
to destroy strongholds.”
– 2 COR 10:4 ESV
Friends and partners: in order for Janet, Martin and Kioko to be released by their captors, we need a miracle. The entire IAS family asks for your support in prayer this month — not only for their protection and speedy release, but also for Axmed’s life. While we, as an organization, are doing the best that we can in the midst of this difficult situation, we recognize that the body of Christ, joined together in prayer, is more powerful than our active attempts to resolve this crisis.
Please also pray for the IAS leadership team. Pray that the Lord will give this team of leaders divine direction in the very difficult decisions they are making on a daily basis.
And finally, as it is difficult to provide timely updates through this monthly publication, please check the IAS Facebook page for new information on the hostage situation and Axmed’s recovery. IAS will endeavor to post the most recent information that we are able to provide our partners. You can access us on Facebook by visiting www.ias-intl.org/facebook. Please don’t forget to join us in prayer at the IAS fall banquet, Friday, September 28, which you can register for at our website, www.ias-america.org.
In grateful appreciation for your prayers -
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