MOGADISHU (HAN) November 16, 2015. Public Diplomacy & regional Security. At least seven people were killed and 12 others wounded Monday when a gunfight broke out in Somalia between rival security forces as they waited for cards for food aid, police said.
“There was exchange of gunfire between policemen who were guarding a distribution site and members from the military,” police officer Mohamed Burhan said, adding that seven civilians were killed in the crossfire in the clashes, just outside the capital Mogadishu.
Witnesses said the dead included children as well as elderly men and women. United Nations envoy to Somalia, Nick Kay, said he was “shocked at shooting of civilians queuing for food rations” and added that the “perpetrators must face justice.”
Shooting broke out in a camp for displaced people in the Afgoye corridor, where thousands of people live in dire conditions along a key route leading northwest from Mogadishu.
“Many people were waiting in lines receiving cards for food aid distribution when the gunfight broke out,” said witness Mumino Dinow.
“It was horrible and I saw several dead people including a woman, child and two elderly men.”
It was not immediately clear what sparked the fighting between the rival forces.
The area is under the control of the government, after the Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab were driven out of Afgoye in 2012.
Tens of thousands of people who have fled war as well as hunger — amid poor rains in some areas and floods elsewhere — live in basic camps in and around the capital.