US military accused of targeting civilians in Somalia

MOGADISHU, Somalia — US military in Somalia was accused of carrying out drone strike targeting residential areas in south of the country, leaving women and children injured.

The airstrike was conducted in small residential areas near El Adde town in Somalia’s Gedo region, causing mass destruction of houses and shops.

The victims were taken into hospital for medical treatment, according to sources, who asked to be anonymous.

El Adde is a town, where Kenyan troops under the African Union mission in Somalia had a military base before being withdrawn when 100 Kenyans were killed in deadly gun attack by Al Shabaab in 2016.

SNA Radio, Somali military mouthpiece said the strike hit group’s militants, killing at least 10 militants including a senior Al-Shabaab commander.

Somali Islamist group Al Shabaab denies its fighters had been targeted.

The group released photos showing that the strike hit residential areas and bussiness shops in the area.

The group accused US military of targeting civilians in Somalia.

There was no immediate comment from US military over the allegation.

Last year, US special forces have been accused of complicity in the deaths of civilians after five unarmed men were killed during a raid by Somali troops that they “aided and assisted”.

The casualties were described as banana farmers by local inhabitants, and appear to have been shot while trying to flee the site of the operation, which officials say targeted commanders of the al-Shabaab extremist group.