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Kenyan air strike in Somalia allegedly kills woman and her child

By Reuters | June 8th 2021

A Somali mother and her child were killed and four others injured when a Kenyan warplane bombed two towns in southern Somalia, the woman's husband said on Monday.

The bombing by the Kenyan plane occurred last Thursday night in two towns in the Gedo area in Somalia's semi-autonomous state of Jubbaland.

The Somali government on Friday condemned what it called "indiscriminate air strikes" in El Ade and Hisa-u-Gur towns carried out by Kenyan forces.

A contingent of the Kenyan military is part of the African Union-mandated peacekeeping force AMISOM stationed in Somalia to help defend the government from the al Qaeda-linked insurgent group al Shabaab.

Ali Ahmed Sheikh, the woman's husband, told Reuters on Monday he had been out of the house when the warplane struck his family home in El Ade and that of a neighbour on Thursday night.

"I found my house destroyed, my wife Sahra Aden and the baby she suckled dead," Sheikh told Reuters from Erdogan Hospital in the Somali capital Mogadishu.

He was there attending to his children - two boys and two girls - who were injured in the attack.

He said that in the raid, the Kenyan planes had also bombed other villages and destroyed telecommunications masts of Hormud Telecom, a Somali telecoms firm.

A Somali government statement said the airstrikes had resulted in death and injury of civilians including women and children, but it gave no specific details about the victims.

Zipporah Kioko, spokesperson for the Kenyan military, referred Reuters back to AMISOM for comment on the incident.

In a statement on Saturday, AMISOM said it was gathering information on the reported incident.

Al Shabaab is seeking to topple the government and establish its own rule in Somalia based on its own strict interpretation of Islamic sharia law.

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