MOGADISHU, Somalia - Suspected armed Islamic militants Wednesday ambushed a convoy carrying doctors near the Somalian capital, killing six people, three of them Syrian doctors in the country giving medical assistance, officials said Wednesday.
Capt. Mohamed Hussein, a senior Somalian police commander, said the convoy came under attack in a semi-forested area outside Mogadishu, while on the way to give medical help to patients at a hospital.
Hussein blames al-Shabab insurgents for the attack. Somalia's weak government is attempting to rebuild the war-ravaged nation after African Union troops helped the Somalian army eject the al-Qaeda-linked militants from all the major cities, including the capital Mogadishu.
Abdi Ibrahim Jiya, a well-known orthopedic surgeon in Somalia, said he trained a Somalian doctor killed in the attack. Jiya said others killed were the three Syrian doctors and two Somalian aides who were all heading to Fiqi hospital in Elasha Biyaha, a settlement near Mogadishu. A Syrian doctor was also wounded in the attack, he said.
Although daily fighting has stopped since al-Shabab was evicted from the areas it occupied, guerrilla attacks blamed on the militants continue.
Foreign health-care workers and locals working for foreign organizations providing assistance to the country's dilapidated health system have been targeted before.