World Bulletin / News Desk
Al-Shabaab rebels have executed eight chieftains from Somalia's southwestern region of Bakool, local residents said.
"The locals found eight chieftains of the city of Burhakaba with gunshots in the upper parts of their bodies," Abdi Eido, a local resident, told Anadolu Agency.
The chieftains were heading to Lower Shebelle region when their vehicle was intercepted by rebels who gunned them down, he added.
No group has claimed responsibility for the execution, and it is still unclear why the chieftains had been targeted.
Some of the chieftains had participated in a conference last month to establish an administration for the southwest region, which includes six provinces.
The central government and senior politicians had opposed the move and dismissed it as "unrealistic."
Somalia has remained in the grip of on-again, off-again violence since the outbreak of civil war in 1991.
The country had appeared to inch closer to stability with the recent installation of a new government and the intervention of African Union troops tasked with combatting Al-Shabaab.