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US acknowledges killing civilian, wounding 3 others in Somalia

In this AFP file photo taken on December 14, 2019 a girl gets water from a water tap at the water distribution point of a displacement camp in Beledweyne, Somalia.

The United States says one of its airstrikes in Somalia earlier this year killed one civilian and wounded three others.

“This admission is the third case they have substantiated in 13 years of airstrikes in the country,” Brian Castner, Amnesty International's senior crisis adviser for arms and military operations, said in a statement. “Now that there has been an acknowledgment of their actions, there must be accountability and reparations for the victims and their families.”

The US Africa Command (AFRICOM) made the announcement in its second quarterly report on civilian casualties Tuesday.

“Our goal is to always minimize impact to civilians. Unfortunately, we believe our operations caused the inadvertent death of one person and injury to three others who we did not intend to target,” AFRICOM Commander Army Gen. Stephen Townsend said in a statement.

The airstrike on February 2 was allegedly aimed at al-Shabab militants.

“We are getting after a mutual threat in al-Shabab,” AFRICOM spokesman Air Force Col. Chris Karns  was cited as saying. “If we’re found to have made a mistake, we will admit to it because accountability and trust is key.”

The United States las year acknowledged killing five civilians and wounding six others in three separate airstrikes only after Amnesty International released an investigation into its airstrikes in Somalia.

Under US President Donal Trump, the number of airstrikes allegedly against al-Shabab and Daesh militants has dramatically increased in the Somali peninsula.

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