Six Somali soldiers were killed in a shootout on Wednesday between two government security agents who turned on each other near the presidential palace in the capital Mogadishu.
The clashes between the military and the spy unit National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) left several others wounded.
Among the dead was a senior NISA commander Isse Jijille, government sources confirm.
We can confirm that today's incident caused the death of our six soldiers after government forces accidentally exchanged gunfire. *_Photo Credit: Shabelle News_*
“We can confirm that today’s incident caused the death of our six soldiers after government forces accidentally exchanged gunfire,” defense minister Abdirashid Abdullahi said in a joint press conference with the NISA chief Abdullahi Mohamed.
The NISA chief said an investigation has been launched into the clashes.
Local media report that the clash erupted after soldiers at a military checkpoint denied the convoy of senior NISA commander Isse Jijille access to pass.
The decision led to a confrontation that resulted in the shootout killing Isse Jijille and some of his guards, local media Shabelle News reported.
Somali security forces are working together to fight al-Qaeda-linked insurgent group, Al Shabaab, which seeks to topple Somalia’s government, drive out African Union peacekeeping troops and impose its own harsh interpretation of Islamic law.