1 February 2016

Somalia Probes Impact of Kenyan Airstrikes in Gedo Region

Somali Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke said his government had talked with Kenyan officials over the airstrike to be stopped in El-Adde region in southern Somalia where Al-Shabaab fighter killed several Kenyan soldiers on Jan. 15.

"I named a fact-finding committee headed by the Minister of Defense to assess the situation in Gedo region, in particular the El-Adde neighborhood, the casualties of civilians, what happened there and the withdrawal of AMISOM troops from southern Somalia," Sharmake told journalists in Mogadishu.

"We had communication with Kenyan officials including the Chief of Army Staff over stopping of the airstrikes. The defence minister and his team will travel to the area and find out the extent of civilian casualties there," the PM added.

His remarks came two weeks after Kenyan warplanes carried out airstrikes in southern Somali region of Gedo after Al-Shabaab attack in which more than ten Kenya Defgence Forces (KDF) soldiers were captured and several others injured.

The Kenyan government has not given the official figures of the casualties, but the militants claimed to have killed 100 Kenyan troops and captured 12 others.

The militant group frequently exaggerates the number of troops and civilians they massacre, while AMISOM rarely gives exact tolls. Enditem

Xinhua

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