Seven health workers and a civilian were assassinated in a village in the north part of the Somali capital, after being abducted by masked men in military uniforms, a director of a local aid group declared to the media just yesterday.
“Armed masked men kidnapped seven of our health workers and a civilian from a health centre run by Zamzam Foundation at about 1pm yesterday. We just got their dead bodies today,” Omar Jamac, the foundation’s director, said.
The tragedy happened in Galooley village in the outskirts of Balad district, 30 km (19 miles) north of Mogadishu.
It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the killing, which followed several hours of clashes between security forces and insurgents belonging to the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab group.
In addition to healthcare, the Zamzam Foundation - founded in 1992 - also engages in providing education, taking care of orphans and peace-building operations.
Yet, since 2008, al Shabaab has been fighting to overthrow Somalia’s central government and establish its own sovereign rule based on an extreme interpretation of Islam’s sharia law.
Somalia has been stalled in conflict since 1991 when the national clan warlords overthrew the former dictator Siad Barre and then turned on each other leaving a harsh war streak in the country.