updated 11/5/2008 5:35:48 PM ET 2008-11-05T22:35:48

Armed men ambushed a convoy in Somalia on Wednesday, taking four European aid workers and two Kenyans hostage, officials said.

French aid group Action Against Hunger said the attack took place in the town of Dhusamareb, about 360 miles north of the capital, Mogadishu, when the six were going to an airport to board a chartered plane bound for Nairobi, Kenya.

The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry said two Kenyan pilots and four aid workers — two French citizens, one Belgian and a Bulgarian — were kidnapped. It said no one was hurt and there had been no contact with the kidnappers so far.

Action Against Hunger said the two Kenyans were drivers, not pilots.

The group has 14 foreign staffers and 220 local employees in Somalia working on projects to promote health and access to clean water, according to its Web site.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon strongly condemned the abductions and demanded the immediate release of those captured.

"He is deeply concerned about the worsening trend of killings and abductions of aid workers in Somalia," U.N. spokeswoman Michele Montas said at U.N. headquarters in New York.

Foreigners, journalists and aid workers are frequently abducted for ransom in Somalia. The country has not had an effective central government since 1991, and has been left in the grip of violence and anarchy.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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