Witnesses accused African Union soldiers of having killed four civilians in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Tuesday, November 6, after they opened fire when their convoy was hit by a roadside bomb.
Local people alleged that an armored African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) convoy opened fire after being hit by improvised explosive devices. The incident occurred in the Huriwa district in the north of the city.
A total of six people were hit in the incident, according to a Goobjoog News report, which cited locals as saying that troops for a few minutes denied emergency vehicles access to the injured.
#UPDATE: Four civilians shot dead by African Union troops after being shot on the head and chest following bomb explosion hit #AU vehicle near SOS junction in #Mogadishu – Media reports #Somalia pic.twitter.com/GSaSTaGRRc
— Live From Mogadishu (@Mogadishu_News) November 6, 2018
Amisom said in a tweet that its convoy had “encountered double IED explosions in the Soqola area” – part of Huriwa district.
“The first explosion damaged an Amisom vehicle and caused minor injuries to the driver” and the second IED “exploded prematurely, causing no damage or injuries,” the tweet said.
— AMISOM (@amisomsomalia) November 6, 2018
But Amisom made no mention of the shooting, which witnesses said involved Burundian members of the force.
Dozens of angry demonstrators took to the streets of Huriwa, burning tyres and calling for the killers to be brought to justice.
“These innocent victims have been killed by the Burundian soldiers without reason and we are asking the government to respond to this oppression,” said Mohamed Warsame, a relative of one of the victims.
Some local people threatened to take matters into their own hands.
Xasan Ugaas Maxamed, a traditional elder warned: “If the government does not act in regard of this incident, we will not live side by side with Burundian soldiers in harmony, and we know how to fight.”
One protestor, Abdulahi Mohamed, said: “We were protesting in solidarity with the victims and we need justice for these innocent victims, if nothing is done, we will take justice with our own hands.”
Neither Amisom nor Somalia’s internationally backed government were available for comment on the incident, but Mareeg reported an African Union spokesperson as saying an investigation would be launched.
It is unclear who was responsible for the roadside bomb attack, but Al-Shabaab has been fighting to overthrow the government of Somalia for over a decade. Despite losing towns and territory in recent years the group continues to carry out regular bombings and armed raids on government, security and civilian targets in the capital and elsewhere.
With reporting from AFP