Disabled veterans are among 15 people killed after mortar rockets fired by fighters in Somalia hit a war veterans’ hospital.
The shells fired by opposition fighters missed their intended target in Mogadishu, the capital, and hit a residential area containing the hospital, Somali officials said.
“I was sitting in my wheelchair about 10 metres away from my friends when a mortar exploded and smoke and dust covered us all,” Mohamed Abdi, 50, a paralysed ex-soldier said.
“I saw my friends on the ground, with blood scattered everywhere like slaughtered goats.”
Three civilians also died and 15 other veterans were wounded in the attack.
The mortars were believed to have been fired towards Mogadishu’s port but landed in the residential area by mistake, officials said.
Former army officers paralysed or missing limbs from the country’s 1977 war with Ethiopia resided in the hospital, said Shiek Abdirisaq Oeylow, a government spokesman.
Somalia has suffered civil war for the past 18 years and African Union peacekeepers are currently in the country aiming to back the government of Sheikh Sharif Ahmed.
The government holds only a few areas of Mogadishu and al-Shabab, an opposition group, is attempting to overthrow them with the suspected help of foreign fighters.
The US has accused al-Shabab of having links with al-Qaeda, which al-Sahbab denies.
Pic: Somali motar attack