At least 27 people, mostly children, were killed and more than 50 injured in Somalia on Friday when an unexploded ordnance detonated in an area south of the African country’s capital, Mogadishu, Somalia’s state news agency and an official said.

“We had a disaster near Coriolei, innocent children were killed when a mortar shell exploded,” said Abdi Ahmed Ali, a local official, during a press conference.

He did not explain by whom the ordnance was fired, or when, or where. This area, however, often becomes the scene of conflicts between the Somali armed forces, supported by a military mission of the African Union, and jihadists of the Shebab organization, which is close to Al Qaeda.

Sebab (“Youth”) has been fighting since 2007 to overthrow the federal government backed by the international community.

Abdi Ahmed Ali appealed to the authorities to help “remove unexploded ordnance scattered in the area” to prevent further “such disasters” in the future.

A resident of the city, Ibrahim Hassan, speaking to AFP, emphasized that most of the victims were “small children who died on the spot when one of them fell on an explosive device near a playground”.

On May 26, at least 54 soldiers were killed when members of Shebab launched an attack on an African Union mission base where members of the Ugandan armed forces were encamped in the town of Bulo Marer, about 30 kilometers from Coriolei.