AU Forces Shell Playground in Somalia, Kill Seven Children

Somali Govt Declares Attack 'Retaliation' for Attack on AU Base

In the second high profile killing of civilians by the ostensible “peacekeeping” body in less than a week, African Union forces shelled a playground in the Somali capital city of Mogadishu, killing 10 people including seven children who were playing soccer.

A spokesman from the self-proclaimed Somali government shrugged off the latest killings, saying the shelling was “retaliation” for an attack by Islamists on AU bases earlier in the week. No Islamists appear to have been anywhere near the playground at the time of the attack.

On Thursday of last week, AU forces responded to an attack on the presidential palace by shelling a pair of residential neighborhoods, killing at least 20 civilians and wounding dozens of others.

AU troops have faced rising criticism for killing an undue number of civilians in shellings. Though the AU only targets neighborhoods controlled by Islamist factions, the fact that the Somali “transitional” government only controls a few city blocks around the presidential palace means that virtually the entire Somali population falls into this category.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.