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Amnesty: US military killed civilians in one of its airstrikes

US military killed civilians in one of its attacks in Somalia and subsequently declined to investigate the incident, claiming deceased were al-shabaab fighters, Amnesty International said on Tuesday.

In a statement, Amnesty International said the victims targeted in March airstrike by US military were farmers with no ties to Al-Shabaab.

The agency stated that its investigations revealed the three civilians killed in the March 18 strike in southern Somalia were innocent.

According to the statement, AFRICOM had provided no evidence to support its assessment the three men were militants.
Amnesty accused the US military of failing to follow up claims the men were innocent despite promising to do so or make any effort to contact their families.

“It’s bad enough that the US Africa Command appears not to know who its airstrikes are actually killing and maiming in its secretive war in Somalia,” Abdullahi Hassan, a Somalia researcher for Amnesty, said in a statement. “But it’s reprehensible that AFRICOM offers no way for those affected to contact it and has failed to reach out to the families of victims after its version of events was called into question in this case.”

During its investigation, Amnesty interviewed 11 people about the March 18 strike, including co-workers and family of the men killed when their car was hit in Lower Shabelle, a hotbed of the radical insurgency in southern Somalia.

It said all those interviewed during the investigation were adamant that none of the men was a member of Al-Shabaab.

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