Gunfire said to kill 7 as aid is looted in Somalia

August 5, 2011 - 8:45 AM

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Somali refugees at the largest refugee camp in Mogadishu say seven people were shot dead when government soldiers opened fire after a looting rampage broke out during a food distribution.

One refugee, Muse Sheik Ali, said government soldiers tried to steal food at a World Food Program feeding site Friday, and then refugees began to loot the aid. Ali said soldiers then opened fire, killing seven people.

Another refugee, Abdi Awale Nor, also said seven people died. He called the scene "carnage" and said soldiers "ruthlessly shot everyone."

Tens of thousands of Somalis fleeing famine have crowded into refugee camps in Mogadishu. But delivering food aid in the near lawless environment is proving to be a major challenge.