Somalia drone strikes could be war crimes: Amnesty

Somalia

Two strikes that killed 23 civilians during Somali military operations supported by Turkish drones must be investigated as war crimes, Amnesty International said May 7. Civilians killed in the strikes on March 18 included 14 children, five women and four men. Another 17 civilians were injured in the strikes: 11 children, two women and four men. All were from the marginalized Gorgaarte clan.

The strikes hit the Jaffey farming community, about three kilometers west of Bagdad village in the Lower Shabelle region. Victims and other residents told Amnesty International that the drone strikes followed heavy ground fighting that started earlier that day between the armed group Al-Shabaab and Somali security forces close to the villages of Jambaluul and Bagdad.

“The Somali and Turkish governments must investigate these deadly strikes as a war crime, and put an end to reckless attacks on civilians,” said Tigere Chagutah, Amnesty’s regional director for East Africa.

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