Seven health workers and a civilian were killed in a village north of the Somali capital after being abducted by masked men in military uniforms on Wednesday, a director of a local aid group said on Thursday.
“Armed masked men kidnapped seven of our health workers and a civilian from a health centre run by Zamzam Foundation at about 1 pm yesterday. We got their dead bodies today,” Omar Jamac, the foundation’s director, told Reuters.
The incident happened in Galooley village in the outskirts of Balad district, 30 km north of Mogadishu.
It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the killing, which followed several days of clashes between security forces and insurgents belonging to the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab group.
In addition to healthcare, Zamzam Foundation – founded in 1992 – is also involved in providing education, taking care of orphans and peace-building.
Since 2008, al Shabaab has been fighting to overthrow Somalia’s central government and establish its own rule based on its own harsh interpretation of Islam’s sharia law.
Somalia has been mired in conflict since 1991, when clan warlords overthrew dictator Siad Barre and then turned on each other.