Mother and six children burnt alive in Somalia

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A mother and her six children were burned to death in southern Somalia on Tuesday, local officials said, adding that the incident was thought to be a related to clan hostilities.

Mayor Hassan Omar said that the victims lived in the village of Jeebey outside the port city of Merca.

“The family was attacked by militiamen while they were sleeping,’’ Omar said.

However, the attackers have not been identified, but officials said tensions have increased between militias representing two clans vying for land.

“The conflict between these two rival militias in the region has quickly been deteriorating for the past two or three years, civilians from both clans are targeted deliberately,’’ Omar said.

The community leader Mohamed Hussein told newsmen from Merca that Somalis had been killing each other for years, but targeting women, children and burning civilian homes was a new culture.

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