A family of seven, including four children, were killed in what is believed to be an al-Shabaab attack in Somalia, authorities confirmed Wednesday.

Gunmen struck a remote village in Wajid district in the Bakool region in southwestern Somalia late Tuesday.

It was not until Wednesday that authorities could reach the remote area and confirm the attack. County officials are pointing blame at the Somali-based al-Qaeda affiliated al-Shabaab group, who are said to have targeted the family because the father was a federal soldier.

“I extend my deepest condolences to the Somali family for the loss of their lives to Al Shabaab in Wajid District last night,” Justice Minister Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur Jama was quoted by the daily Hagaag news in condemning the attack.

“Killing a pregnant mother and children is only possible from the unscrupulous Al Shabaab. I wish the family, relatives and all the people of Wajid patience and faith,” he said.

Residents in the southwestern area of Somalia were shocked at the attack and demanded justice for the family as they shared photographs from the scene on social media.

In recent days, al-Shabaab militants intensified attacks on security forces as Africa Union Mission Forces and Somali National Army soldiers continue pushing the group from strongholds in successive military operations.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack but al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for recent attacks against civilians and security forces in the Horn of Africa nation.

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