10 civilians, including kids, dead in U.S.-backed Somalia raid

Published Aug. 26, 2017

MOGADISHU, Somalia — Ten civilians, including three children, were killed in 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 U.S. military confirmed it supported a Somali operation in the area and said it would look into the allegations.

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.

Somalia's information ministry said al-Shabab extremists were killed instead.

Three children ages 8 to 10 and a woman were among the dead, the deputy governor said. Their blanket-wrapped bodies were laid out in a grassy courtyard for display.

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

A statement by Somalia's information ministry said the raid killed eight al-Shabab fighters and that the extremists began shooting at Somali forces after they entered the farm. "No civilians were harmed or killed in this operation," the statement said.

The U.S. Africa Command confirmed that U.S. forces were supporting the Somalia National Army while it conducted an operation in the area. It gave no details about the operation.