At least 14 people, including 10 civilians and four soldiers were killed during a violent clash when troops allegedly tried to snatch food aid from internally-displaced people in southwestern Baidoa city on Friday, according to police, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.
Baidoa is the capital of southwestern state, located some 250 kilometers (155 miles) southwest of the Somali capital, Mogadishu.
There are thousands of refugees from Kenya in the country; lately, internally-displaced people fleeing drought in Somalia have been pouring in Baidoa in search of food and support, according to UN.
Abdukadir Mohamed, a police captain in Baidoa city, told Anadolu Agency over the phone that more than 20 others mostly civilians were also injured in the clashes; 10 injured are said to be in critical condition.
“It was on Friday afternoon when an armed group of soldiers attacked humanitarian aid meant for internally-displaced people in Baidoa,” Mohamed said.
Southwest state President Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan told the media that an investigation had been launched into the incident, assuring that “soldiers behind this barbaric incident will be held accountable”.
Bay -- a region in southern Somalia -- has been hugely affected by drought and waterborne diseases such as cholera outbreak. At least 700 people died from a cholera outbreak that hit 13 out of 18 Somali regions since January this year, according to WHO and Somali Health Ministry.