5 killed as Somali gunmen steal food aid
Mogadishu - At least five people were killed on Friday when an armed gang raided a camp in the Somali capital and stole relief food meant for thousands of drought-affected people, officials and witnesses said.
"Five people died on the spot after militiamen opened fire to loot the food aid," said Abdikadir Mohamed, a driver.
"There was chaos and everybody was running for cover after the security escorting the food aid convoy exchanged fire with the armed gang. The food was looted," Mohamed added.
Residents at the Badbado camp had been queuing up for food supplied by the World Food Programme when the gunmen attacked.
Ali Isa, an official with a local NGO partnering with the WFP, said the UN agency had brought some 300 tons of food for the displaced at the camp set up by Somalia's Western-backed government.
It was not immediately clear who the attackers were, but Somalia's al-Qaeda-inspired Shabaab rebels have been fighting to topple the government and banned several foreign aid groups from regions under their control.
The UN on Wednesday declared three more Somali areas, including Mogadishu and Afgoye area to the west of the capital, as facing famine.