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Cases of cholera have risen across Somalia. FILE.

Somalia working on rescuing hostages from crashed UN helicopter

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The Somalia government on Thursday said it is working on rescuing passengers of a crashed United Nations (UN) helicopter.

The helicopter was captured by al Shabaab militants on Wednesday, but military officers noted that accessing the area where it was captured would be difficult.

The UN contracted the helicopter for a medical evacuation but it experienced technical problems before making an emergency landing near Hindhere village, controlled by the militants. Two Somalia men and several foreigners were aboard the helicopter.

Information Minister Daud Aweis told Reuters that the government was working on freeing the hostages, but did not provide further information.

However, Colonel Abdullahi Isse, who is based around about 100 km north of Hindhere, told Reuters that troops in the area had no plans to launch a rescue mission and a land-based operation was not feasible.

(Story compiled with assistance from wire reports) 

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