17 January 2013

Somalia: African Union Mission in Somalia to Investigate Civilian Deaths in Lego

Photo: United Nations
A Somali girl crosses a street on her way to school while AMISOM soldiers stand guard (file photo).

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) said it is investigating the recent deaths of civilians caught in the crossfire after al-Shabaab militants attacked AMISOM troops near Lego, 120 kilometres west of Mogadishu.

Initial reports indicate that adults and children were killed and wounded in the incident on Tuesday (January 15th), AMISOM said in a statement.

"AMISOM is mindful of its responsibility to minimise civilian casualties during its operations and we have clear rules of engagement to that effect," AMISOM acting Force Commander Major General Salvatore Harushimana said. "We are therefore currently establishing the facts and the circumstances around this tragic incident so as to ascertain whether, and to what extent, these rules may have been breached."

A similar incident occurred in October, when at least six civilians were killed when their bus crossed a battle zone between al-Shabaab and AMISOM in Lego.

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