Somalis Outraged at Image of Soldier Pointing Pistol at the Heads of Female Protesters


MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Social media backlash grows over images of an undercover Somali national intelligence agent who was seen firing at anti-government protesters in the capital Mogadishu and pointing a loaded pistol at the heads of three female protesters.

Many have taken to social media including prominent figures to denounce what they described as “horrific” attack involving plain-clothed Somali government soldier intimidating female protesters by pointing a loaded pistol at their heads in broad daylight.

The ununiformed soldier was also seen in a video on Friday, firing live bullets at youths protesting over delayed elections and calling for timely polls.

No casualties from the attack have not been immediately confirmed, but many including politicians said they were shocked at the image and accused President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo and his intelligence chief of using plain-clothed intelligence agents to disrupt peaceful protests.

The video came days after reports emerged that ununiformed intelligence agents threatened journalists covering protests against the current administration in Mogadishu, showing off their pistols to intimidate reporters at the scene.

Leader of Wadajir opposition party Abdirahman Abdishakur said on Friday that the incumbent president and his intelligence chief were both against peaceful demonstrations and consequently used undercover agents to stifle freedom of expression.

The attacked protest was underway in Banadir junction, an area heavily guarded by security forces, but troops have not responded to the live bullets fired by the undercover intelligence agent, who was himself speaking on phone while shooting at protesters.

Somali government has not immediately commented on the attack, the latest in a string of attempts by security forces to prevent demonstrations from sweeping through the conflict-torn capital.

Several protesters including three young women who appeared in the video while a loaded pistol was pointed at their heads by the intelligence agent, were arrested and later freed after pro-opposition general Mohamed Siad Indho-adde along with a number of military vehicles stormed Wabari Police Station where the detained protesters were held.

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