Somalia’s army chief: Raid killed civilians, not extremists

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) – Somalia’s army chief says civilians, not extremists, were killed in a military operation Friday that both the United States and Somalia say they will investigate.

Ahmed Jimale Gedi told reporters on Saturday that the deaths in Barire village in Lower Shabelle region were the result of suspicion between the two sides.

He says he is shocked by the civilian deaths. The deputy governor of Lower Shabelle has said 10 civilians were killed, including three children.

Somalia’s government at first said al-Shabab extremists were killed but later noted civilian casualties.

The U.S. Africa Command has confirmed it supported an operation by the Somali army in the area.

President Donald Trump earlier this year approved expanded operations against the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab group in Somalia, often in support of Somali forces.

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