Locals: US Airstrike Kills Seven Civilians in Southern Somalia

US Insists Slain Were All al-Shabaab Militants

Locals from the town of Bulu Sheikh, in southern Somalia, reported US airstrikes carried out against a civilian home in the district, killing at least seven civilians, all members of the same family, and including women and children.

US Africa Command (AFRICOM) also reported the incident, saying three US airstrikes took place in the town, and insisting that all seven of the people killed were “al-Shabaab fighters” killed in an operation to support Somalia’s military.

US officials offered no evidence that the slain were al-Shabaab, and didn’t offer anything to identify them at all. The belief, rather, appears to have been built around the fact that the town of Bulu Sheikh is held by al-Shabaab.

AFRICOM further claimed the slain were members of the al-Shabaab “intelligence network,” and even claimed it was a “self-defense strike,” though again, there is no evidence that Somalia was even conducting an offensive near the twon at the time, let alone was in imminent threat that could only be resolved by “neutralizing” a house-load of civilians.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.