Somalia: Residents flee homes to escape Kenya airstrikes

Published: January 22, 2016

Somalia: Residents flee homes to escape Kenya airstrikesHundreds of families have been forced to leave their houses in El Adde village, South-western Somalia and surrounding areas to escape airstrikes being carried out by Kenyan military.
“There is an exodus out of El Adde. It started few days ago after the Kenyan planes started bombarding the whole area indiscriminately. People are fleeing towards the countryside and other towns for safety,” said Abdullahi Ali, a shop owner in the village.
Earlier this week, Somali army officials in Gedo region and other local elders revealed that the Kenyan warplanes airborne attacks caused the death of at least 17 civilians and wounded over 30 others. This came after al-Shabaab militants raided a Kenyan military base in the region last week which caused the death of dozens of Kenyan soldiers, part of the African Union mission in Somalia.
Kenyan officials have said that the targets of the airstrikes are the hideouts of al-Shabaab militants. But local administration and elders say airstrikes struck civilian homes and fields.
A member of the Somali Federal Parliament, Abdifatah Matan who hails from the region close to the Somalia-Kenya border, strongly condemned the death of the civilians and said that Kenyan peacekeepers have no any mandate of carrying out airstrikes against civilians.
In the past, Kenyan warplanes killed dozens of civilians in Southern Somalia in airborne attacks aimed at the al-Qaeda-linked extremists.
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