May 21, 2024

WHO Condemns Killing of Civilians and Staff Member in Complex Hotel Attack in Somalia

Dr. Ahmed Al-Mandhari
Dr. Ahmed Al-Mandhari

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Sunday strongly condemned a complex attack on the Pearl Beach Hotel and Restaurant in Mogadishu, Somalia, expressing deep sorrow over the deaths of 16 innocent civilians, including a WHO national staff member. The attack, which took place on June 9, 2023, also left more than 10 people injured.

Dr. Ahmed Al-Mandhari, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, expressed his outrage in a statement, writing, “We are appalled by the tragic loss of life in this senseless attack, including the death of Ms. Nasra Hassan, a WHO national staff member. Nasra, 27 years old, joined the WHO country office in Somalia to support drought emergency response operations in Jubaland. Her dedication, ambition, and commitment were highly regarded among her colleagues. Our deepest condolences go out to Nasra’s family and the families and friends of those who lost their lives during the attack.”

Dr. Malik Mamunur, WHO Representative in Somalia, joined in condemning the attack, emphasizing the organization’s stand against violence targeting innocent civilians and humanitarian aid workers.

He said, “We condemn in the strongest terms this heinous attack on a hotel that claimed numerous lives, including the precious life of our colleague Nasra. Our thoughts and sympathies are with the families affected by this tragedy.”

Despite the tragic incident, the WHO said that it remains committed to continuing its efforts to preserve health and respond to emergencies in Somalia, adding that its staff members’ safety and security are paramount in ensuring ongoing life-saving response operations.

The attack on the Pearl Beach Hotel and Restaurant serves as a sad reminder of the challenges faced by humanitarian workers operating in conflict-ridden regions. The WHO called for ending violence against innocent civilians and those providing essential aid in Somalia.

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