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Somalia:Somali soldier kills five queuing for humanitarian aid

Friday, September 9, 2011

Laaska News  Sept. 9,2011

Somali refugees. Photo: AFP   

A Somali soldier distributing humanitarian aid in Mogadishu opened fire killing several starving refugees. Five people are known to have died. Eyewitnesses say the soldier opened fire minutes into the aid distribution when the mob started fighting for the food.

We know that one of our soldiers is responsible for killing five people some of which came to get humanitarian aid, says Somali Security services spokesman Mohammed Ali. This is a barbarian and inadmissible beahaviour, he adds.

The soldier has been arrested. The investigation is underway.


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Somali gov’t soldier kills six at food distribution point in Mogadishu
MOGADISHU, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) — A Somali government soldier on Thursday killed five people from drought stricken southern Somalia during food distribution in Mogadishu, witnesses said.

Tens of thousands of people are in the Somali capital in search of food and other assistance after fleeing the severe famine and droughts in the southern Somalia.

The Somali government soldier who was among forces guarding at the food distribution point in Mogadishu opened fired after people started fighting over the food, witnesses said. “As people began pushing each other to get near the distribution place the soldier just started shooting at people who fell one after the other. I saw six dead and many other wounded. They were rushed to hospital,” Ahmed Ali, an eyewitness told Xinhua.

Police officials said that the soldier who shot dead the people was taken to custody and will be tried according to the law.

A number of camps for the people driven by the devastating famine in southern Somalia are scattered throughout the Somali capital where local and international aid agencies distribute food and other assistance.

Chaos and disorganization during aid distribution leads to fighting and looting by desperate displaced people.

In August at least eight people were killed after gunmen in Somali government uniform shot as they tried to loot food intended for hungry people at the government run Badbaado camp on the outskirts of the capital Mogadishu.

The UN declared famine in sixth region in Somalia and said that the situation in other areas in the south of the war torn country is deteriorating. The Somali government estimates almost 4 million people in Somalia need sustained assistance as the devastation of the worst famine in the region spreads.

More than 100,000 people who fled from famine afflicted southern Somalia are currently in the capital Mogadishu and are in need of humanitarian assistance. Hundreds of acutely malnourished children are admitted to Mogadishu hospitals where doctors say they are running out of essential drugs.

Laaska News.