22/08/08 (B461-B) Shabelle Media / Un coréen blessé au Puntland, lors d’une tentative de kidnapping qui a été manquée. South Korean national injured in Somalia, kidnap fails (En Anglais – Info lecteur)

By: Abdinasir Guled

Armed men in the semiautonomous region of Puntland, northeastern Somalia have injured a South Korean man in Garowe town witnesses officials told Shabelle on Friday.

That man who was militarily-educated has refused to go along with the assailants those attempted to kidnap him but they opened fire him and hit several bullets on the right leg.

The Russian doctor who treated the South Korean man said his patient was in stable condition. "His wounds are not life-threatening," he said.

"He was very shocked by the attack but he was unable to explain who his assailants were," the doctor added.

A Puntland police officer speaking to Shabelle on condition of anonymity said the attackers fled the scene after failing to abduct the South Korean national.

"There was a plan to kidnap him and demand a ransom… We are getting some information about the identity of the attackers and we will take immediate action," the officer said.

The reason behind the victim’s presence in the lawless region was not immediately clear.

Foreigners as well as Somalis employed by foreign organisations have been systematically targeted by kidnappers in Somalia in recent months.

Puntland is a also a hub for pirates hijacking cargo ships off the coast of Somalia and for traffickers smuggling everything from weapons to people across the Gulf of Aden.