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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 September 2006, 17:26 GMT 18:26 UK
Irish charity worker is kidnapped
Donal O'Suilleabhain who has been kidnapped in Ethiopia
Donal O'Suilleabhain who has been kidnapped in Ethiopia
An Irish Red Cross worker has been kidnapped in southern Ethiopia.

Donal O'Suilleabhain, 41, from County Sligo, and an Ethopian colleague were abducted about 31 miles outside Gode town in the Ogaden region.

The pair had been travelling in a convoy of Red Cross vehicles which was stopped by an armed gang.

Carmel Dunne of the Irish Red Cross said: "There was no violence and they left on foot. We believe they are being treated very well."

She said the International Committee of the Red Cross had made contact with the group.

Map of Ethiopia

"We have no information of why (they abducted the workers)," she said.

Mr O'Suilleabhain is a water and sanitation engineer who has worked overseas for the International Red Cross for several years.

He has spend periods in Darfur and Liberia.

Mr O'Suilleabhain has worked for the aid agency building new wells to provide clean water supplies for hundreds of thousands of people for last two years.

It is understood the pair were abducted on 18 September.

Krug Eglin, deputy head of the International Red Cross in Ethiopia, said: "The two staff members were in the area doing their routine work related to improved access to clean water for the people of the region."

A spokesman at Ethiopia's Ministry of Information said the government had launched an investigation.

Irish Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern said he was deeply concerned about the incident and had been in contact with the man's family in Sligo.

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