US air raid kills 'wrong troops' in Somalia

US air raid kills 'wrong troops' in Somalia
2 min read
30 September, 2016
The Somali government has requested an explanation from the US military after an airstrike hit the wrong military group, killing 22 civilians and soldiers which Washington blames on 'faulty intelligence'.

Somalia has been plagued by civil war for decades [AFP]
US forces have been asked to explain their decision process which led to war planes boming the wrong target in Somalia, killing 22 people.

US Africa Command (AFRICOM) forces launched the attack against what they thought was an al-Shabaab bomb-factory in Galmudug State, allegedly due to false intelligence leaked by a rival group.

"The administration of Galmudug State of Somalia is very disappointed that the US Pentagon has used an excessive force against Galmudug forces with misinformation from another regional state in Somalia," said Mohamed Adan Osman, information minister of Galmudug State.

"We suspect that Puntland State of Somalia deliberately provided the wrong information in its own interest, to secure the attack."

According to a statement seen by Reuters, the Somali government have asked for an explanation from the US.

The government statement reads: "The cabinet requests the US government give a clear explanation about the attack its planes carried out on the Galmudug forces."
 
The US military said that it is investigating the attack, which killed a large number of civilians and soldiers.

The Somali military has confirmed that its soldiers were killed in the attack and al-Shabaab told reporters that its fighters were not in the region at the time.

"During a Somali-led counterterrorism operation to disrupt an al-Shabaab Improvised Explosive Device (IED) making network, a group of armed al-Shabaab fighters attacked, threatening the safety and security of the Somali force and their US advisors," AFRICOM said in a statement on Thursday.

The US military also denied killing any civilians.

"We have seen reports alleging non-combatant casualties as a result of this defensive strike. We have assessed all credible evidence and determined those reports are incorrect."