The U.S. military’s Africa Command said Friday it is reviewing a raid after locals reported that five civilians had been shot dead.
“U.S. forces, in an advise-and-assist capacity, partnered in a Somali-led operation to disrupt and degrade al-Shabaab’s terrorist network near Bulcida, Somalia, May 9,” Africom said in a statement. “We are aware of reports alleging civilian casualties resulting from this operation, and we take these reports seriously.”
Ali Mohamed Moalin, a traditional elder close to Afgoye in Lower Shabelle where the raid took place, said “two military helicopters” were involved as well as “some foreign special forces,” AFP reported.
“There are five dead bodies of innocent farmers who have been killed by the special forces last night,” Moalin said.
“Several other people were wounded, and three others taken alive in the helicopters,” he said.
“As with any allegations of civilian casualties we receive, U.S. Africa Command will review any information it has about the incident, including any relevant information provided by third parties,” Africom’s statement said. “If the information supporting the allegation is determined to be credible, USAFRICOM will determine the next appropriate step.”
With reporting from AFP