Amisom on the spot over killing of four civilians in Somalia

Amisom Burundi troops patrol the outskirts of Mogadishu in May, 2012 file photo. /REUTERS
Amisom Burundi troops patrol the outskirts of Mogadishu in May, 2012 file photo. /REUTERS

The African Union Mission in Somalia is on the spot over the alleged killing of four civilians in a retaliatory attack .

The four were killed on Tuesday in the Heliwaa district of the Somali capital Mogadishu.

Eyewitnesses told the human rights body that they saw Amisom’s Burundi soldiers open fire on the four unarmed men at close range.

The Burundi troops had been travelling in a convoy from Maslah when they ran over an improvised explosive device (IED) that exploded as they drove past the Ex-Control, Balaad neighborhood in Heliwaa.

Amnesty while condemning the killings, called for investigations to be carried out into the incident and want the soldiers responsible brought to book.

"These shocking killings by soldiers who are supposed to protect civilians must be thoroughly and impartially investigated by Amisom, with those responsible held to account," Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s deputy director for East Africa said.

The rights group said it was disturbing that forces trained to counter threats to civilians have turned against the people they are supposed to protect.

Amisom responded to the incident saying investigations have already been launched.

"Amisom regrets the loss of lives and sends its condolences to the bereaved families. We will not relent until the truth about this incident is known and justice is done," an Amisom statement read.

The four bodies were taken to the Banadir hospital morgue