News   /   Somalia

'Misdirected' US airstrike kills 22 Somali troops

Somali security forces patrol the scene of a car bomb blast in the capital Mogadishu on August 30, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

US forces have been accused of killing 22 Somali troops in what is said to be a misdirected airstrike in the country’s northern regions.

On Wednesday, Galmudug state's Security Minister Osman Issa announced that his soldiers were killed in the airstrike, adding that the attack was launched on a request from the rival neighboring region of Puntland on the pretext that the targets were al-Shabab militants.

"Puntland misinformed the United States and thus our forces were bombed," he said.

Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis claimed that US forces had engaged in a "self-defense airstrike" after Somali troops were attacked by militants during operations to halt a bomb manufacturing network.

He added that nine al-Shabab militants were killed in the attack, while noting that the Pentagon was considering the false information claims.

“We will look at the reports to see if they are credible and if they are credible we'll investigate them," he said.

A Puntland police source told reporters that over a dozen militants were killed in the attack.

Meanwhile, al-Shabab denied the casualties on its side, saying that it had no members in the region at the time of the attack.

Somalia has been the scene of fighting between al-Shabab and government forces since 2006. In 2011, al-Shabab, striving to topple the government, was driven out of the capital Mogadishu and other major cities by government troops and AMISOM forces, which are largely made up of troops from Ethiopia, Uganda, Burundi, Djibouti and Kenya.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku