Somali soldier accidentally kills at least 17

At least 17 civilians were killed on Monday when a Somali government soldier fired on a crowd in Mogadishu, according to hospital sources and witnesses.

Witnesses said the soldier accidentally triggered an anti-aircraft machine gun after a dispute with other soldiers on a crowded street in the south of the Somali capital.

It is unclear what caused the dispute among the soldiers.

"There was a disaster in Mogadishu today. We have received around 56 injured people, 12 dead bodies and five others died of their injuries at the hospital," Mohamed Yusuf, the director of Mogadishu's Madina hospital, told reporters.

Defence Minister Abdihakin Mohamed Fiqi expressed regret over the incident and promised government assistance to the wounded.

"On behalf of the Somali government, the president, his prime minister and the speaker, we are very sorry about the sad incident..," Fiqi said at the hospital.

"We will help the wounded and promise to bring those behind the brutal killing to justice," he added.

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