25 August 2017

Somalia: Govt, U.S. Raid On Farm Near Bariire Kills 10 Civilians

Photo: Shabelle Radio
Civilians killed by U.S. and Somali forces

Ten civilians, including a child, are dead after a raid by foreign and Somali forces on a farm in southern Somalia, a deputy governor said Friday as officials displayed victims' bloodied bodies in the capital.

The farmers were killed "one by one" after soldiers stormed the farm in Barire village early Friday, the deputy governor of Lower Shabelle region, Ali Nur Mohamed, told reporters in Mogadishu.

A child and a woman are among the dead, the official said, calling the attack a "real genocide."

It was not clear which foreign forces were blamed for the attack. The U.S. military has stepped up efforts this year against the Somalia-based extremist group al-Shabab, often in support of Somali forces.

The U.S. Africa Command did not immediately respond to questions. But in a reply to a comment on Twitter about the raid and "suspected US air strikes," the U.S. Africa Command said "the U.S. has not conducted any strikes in the last 24 hours."

Bodies of civilians, especially those killed in misdirected attacks, often are taken from remote areas of Somalia to Mogadishu to draw media attention.

"These local farmers were attacked by foreign troops while looking after their crops," the deputy governor told reporters. "The troops could have arrested them because they were unarmed but instead shot them one by one mercilessly."

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