Somali officials are accusing African Union peacekeepers of killing 11 civilians in two separate incidents over the weekend.
The governor of Lower Shabelle region, Ibrahim Aden Najah, told VOA that an armored vehicle belonging to the AU ran over some homes late Sunday after a landmine blast hit an AU convoy at El-Wareegow village near Marka. He said a mother, three children and a baby were killed in the incident. And he called on the AU mission to launch an investigation.
The deceased children were between 6 months and 14 years old, the governor said.
On Saturday, AU troops opened fire on a minibus near the town of Qoryooley, killing six civilians, Najah said. "AMISOM (African Union Mission in Somalia) told me their troops were on patrol when they encountered the minibus. They suspected it as a car loaded with explosives, so they opened fire on it, killing all those on board,” the governor told VOA.
AMISOM could not be reached for comment.
African Union troops are in Somalia to provide security, train Somali security forces, and aid local forces against Islamist al-Shabab militants.
VOA’s Somali Service contributed to this report.