Saturday, July 11, 2015
MOGADISHU (HOL)----AfrIcan Union soldiers have shot dead two civilians in the coastal Somali town of Marka after unidentified men lobbed a grenade at a passing convoy in the town, residents told HOL on Saturday.
Two other civilians shot by the soldiers are reported to be in a critical condition.
Witnesses in the town told HOL that soldiers have randomly fired at pedesterians and nearby civilians after the attack which was reported to have inflicted no casualities for the soldiers.
AU officials have not so far commented on the incident which follows previous incidents in which soldiers’ convoy overrun civilians crossing streets and sped away unstopped.
Residents have expressed outrage at the incident as soldiers often shoot nearby pedesterians once grenades are hurled by suspected militants.
The development has the potential to inflame anti foreign forces sentiment in the town which has seen a relative stability since the ouster of Al-Shabab fighters by Somali troops backed by AU forces.
In the meantime, local elders in the town warned such incidents would create distrust and further strain relations between residents and AU forces, a scenario that may make it hard for forces to pacify the
volatile Lower Shabelle region.
The region has seen heavy fighting between allied forces and Al-Shabab fighters over the last few months.
The Al-Qaeda linkedAl-Shabab group often uses such incidents as a war propaganda to draw support from locals to prop up its deadly guerilla war against AU forces in Somalia.