The UN World Food Programme’s top representative in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, has been abducted after gunmen stormed the UN compound.

A Somali boy helps push a donkey cart loaded with food aid

Many people displaced by this year’s fighting depend on food aid

The WFP told the BBC that it strongly protests about the incident and demands Idris Osman’s immediate release.

An unnamed UN official told Reuters and AFP news agencies that government forces were involved in the raid.

Somalia has seen a violent surge since the Islamists were ousted last December by Ethiopian-backed government forces.

“UN WFP can confirm that Mr Idris Osman was detained in Mogadishu,” WFP spokesman Peter Smerdon is quoted by Reuters as saying.

A UN official who asked not to be named told AFP news agency that Mr Osman had been taken to the presidential palace area of the city.

“About 30 Somali government forces in two military trucks and armed with machine guns have raided the UN headquarters, forcefully entered the offices and arrested Idris Mohamed Osman,” he said.