US Raid Killed Civilians, Not Militants: Somalia Army Chief

Families Refuse to Bury Dead Until Govt Admits to Killing Them

A Friday morning raid by US and Somali troops in Barire village left at least 10 civilians dead, including three children. This incident was initially reported by the deputy governor of the region, and confirmed over the weekend by Somalia’s Army Chief.

Army Chief Ahmed Jimale Gedi told reporters he was “shocked” by the incident, and attributed it to distrust on both sides. The Somali government had formally dismissed the report Friday, claiming everyone slain was al-Shabaab militants.

The government’s refusal to admit what happened is an ongoing problem, with the provincial deputy governor confirming that the families have placed the bodies of the slain in storage, and are refusing to bury them until the national government admits what happened and agrees to pay compensation.

The provincial government is backing the delay in burial, an extremely unusual step for Muslims to take,  and has provided a converted refrigerated lobster truck to keep the bodies in Mogadishu pending admission of what happened.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.