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Sunday 25 February 2018

Somalia raid killed civilians not extremists, says army chief

Somalis observe bodies which were brought to and displayed in the capital Mogadishu, Somalia (AP)
Somalis observe bodies which were brought to and displayed in the capital Mogadishu, Somalia (AP)

Somalia's army chief says civilians, not extremists, were killed in a military operation on Friday that both the US and Somalia said they would investigate.

Ahmed Jimale Gedi told reporters the deaths in Barire village in Lower Shabelle region were the result of suspicion between the two sides. He said he was shocked by the civilian deaths.

The deputy governor of Lower Shabelle said 10 civilians were killed, including three children.

Somalia's government at first said al-Shabab extremists were killed, but later noted civilian casualties.

The US Africa Command has confirmed it supported an operation by the Somali army in the area.

President Donald Trump earlier this year approved expanded operations against the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab group in Somalia, often in support of Somali forces.

AP

Press Association

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