Several gunmen killed at least five Quran teachers and wounded several other people during readings from the holy book in southern Somalia, officials said.

The attack this morning in the town of Rage Ele in the Middle Shabelle region, killing innocent civilians and religion teachers, was “unacceptable,” said Muse Geney, Adale district commissioner.

From information police have about the attack, “we believe that what happened was a vengeance-related crime,” he added, explaining that the teachers and the attackers were from different clans, and the gunmen wanted vengeance for an earlier attack.

Ali Nour Hassan, a police officer in the town of Jowhar, Middle Shabelle’s capital, told Anadolu Agency that several clerics were wounded and were transported to Jowhar hospitals for treatment.

He said that Hirshabelle State authorities and security forces are investigating the attack.