Hillary is pleading? Wait a moment, I thought we already beat the Barbary Coast Pirates? Why are we pleading with a bunch of thugs? Casualties here means that the AID workers, most likely UN, were killed. The gear that the UN workers had is going to be used by Shabaab to commit further atrocities.
Johannesburg/Nairobi (dpa) - Several United Nations trucks carrying food aid were looted by gunmen on Friday in Mogadishu, as workers tried to hand out relief supplies to victims of Somalia's drought.
According to some reports, several people were killed as the attackers made off with the food.
'This incident highlights the challenges humanitarian aid agencies face in trying to deliver assistance in this difficult environment,' said Susannah Nicol with the UN's World Food Programme (WFP).
She added that 'casualties have been reported' in the incident, which took place at a camp for displaced people. The WFP was still investigating the incident.
Over 100,000 displaced Somalis have flocked to the capital in recent months, largely owing to the natural disaster striking the country, which comes atop 20 years of conflict.
The latest violent incident in the war-torn capital comes as the UN warned that nearly half of the Somali children fleeing the war and drought in their country and arriving in refugee camps in neighbouring Kenya are suffering from malnutrition.
'Reports of children dying along the way from Somalia or just as they arrive at the camps are disturbingly common,' said the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).
The overall number of Somalis seeking help in Kenya was on the rise, with 1,500 new refugees arriving daily, compared to some 1,300 a day last month.
Dadaab camp in Kenya, one of the largest refugee encampments in the world, now houses more than 400,000 people, according to the UN, though it was built for just 90,000.
The United States aid agency, USAID, believes 29,000 children under five have died in the last three months in southern Somalia, according to recent testimony before Congress.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday made a rare direct appeal to the Islamist al-Shabaab militia in Somalia to give full and free access to relief workers trying to aid civilians hit by the worst African food crisis in decades.
The al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab bans most aid agencies from operating in the southern and central areas of the country it controls. The people fleeing the regions say those left behind are desperately in need of relief supplies.
Also impeding aid efforts was a 'critical shortage of funds,' according to the UN Refugee Agency, which said it was lacking about half of the money it needed to help refugees.
The UN has appealed for 2.4 billion dollars for relief work, with over 12.5 million people affected by the drought in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Djibouti. Five regions of Somalia, including areas around the capital Mogadishu, are officially seeing famine conditions.