Clan elder says 5 innocent farmers were killed in joint U.S.-Somali raid
Five civilians have been killed and several others wounded on Wednesday night in a military operation that allegedly involved U.S. Special Forces embedded with SNA troops, according to regional government officials and local elders.
According to police, the night raids carried out by SNA and US troops were targeting Al-Shabaab militants who were believed to be active in Lower Shabelle.
“There was a raid by Somali special forces near Afgoye last night, they were targeting Al-Shabaab, but we have been informed about civilian casualties. The security forces are investigating the reports,” said District police officer Ibrahim Abdi.
The South West state Information Minister, Ugas Hasan Abdi, also confirmed to media that the military operation was aimed at Al-Shabaab militants.
Ali Mohamed Moalin, A traditional elder from Afogye said the casualties of the raid were not Al-Shabaab militants, but rather innocent banana farmers. He added that three people were taken alive by the U.S. backed SNA troops.
Shamey Yusuf, another traditional elder urged to Somali government to investigate.
“The Somali government must ask questions about this brutal raid on innocent farmers who were sleeping when they were killed.”
The US Africa Command – one of ten unified combatant commands of the United States Armed Forces – said it was looking into the allegation of civilian deaths. The Federal Government of Somalia has not yet issued an official comment on the raid.
Last August, the Somali government admitted culpability in the death of 10 men and boys killed in a joint U.S.-Somali raid after a high-level investigation into the incident. The families of the deceased received compensation from the Somali government in the form of blood money. The U.S. government has not reversed it’s decision and maintains that those killed were Al-Shabaab fighters.