By Abdiaziz Loyal – Mogadishu, Somalia, Saturday, March 14, 2020.
The United States has debunked reports that its airstrike in Somalia has killed at least six civilians including a 13-years-old boy according to local media in Mogadishu, the capital city of Somalia.
The airstrike hit unarmed civilians who were traveling to Mogadishu with vegetables in Janale town – lower Shabelle region, Ahmed Hassan a family member in Somali’s south west state told local media Monday.
The US Africa Command (Africom) didn’t immediately comment while the Somali government was still looking for answers. “I was shocked when I heard that my grandfather and all the civilians died after the airstrike hit, we reached the place, collected their bodies and buried them,” a family member of a victim said.
Africom released a statement saying that the airstrike killed five al-Shabaab terrorists, adding that it had taken measures to avoid civilian casualties. It was the 26th airstrike by the U.S. in the Horn of Africa nation in only 69 days.
“While we currently assess that this airstrike injured no civilians, we are aware of social media reports alleging civilian casualties resulting from this strike. U.S. Africa Command complies with the law of armed conflict and takes all feasible precautions during the targeting process to minimize civilian casualties and other collateral damage,” said Africom in a statement.