Somalia: Residents start to flee after Kenya airstrikes, death toll rises

Published: July 13, 2015

Somalia: Residents start to flee after Kenya airstrikes, death toll risesHundreds of terrified residents have been forced to leave their houses after Kenyan warplanes shelling left dozens of civilians dead over the weekend, elders and local officials say.
The families are abandoning their homes in the villages of Lan-kura, Dibole and Yaqle, which are all located along the Somalia-Kenya border.
“There is an exodus out of these three villages as we speak. It started after the strikes. People are fleeing towards other towns,” one local elder told local media outlets by phone.
Meanwhile, the death toll of civilians killed in the weekend airborne attack carried out by Kenyan warplanes apparently targeting al-Shabaab militants has increased.
It has been confirmed by an official in the area and other witnesses that over 20 people have lost their lives, including children and women.
The Somalia’s Federal government has not yet spoken of this incident which has left many Somalis angry.
On the other side, neither the Kenyan military nor the government has issued a statement concerning the latest strike as both countries are involved in a sea dispute.
Kenya sent forces into Somalia in 2011 to fight the al-Qaida-inspired Islamist group, which has carried out a series of bombings and kidnappings in the region.
Nairobi officials have said they will keep their troops in Somalia for as long as necessary to win the war. Kenyan troops are fighting alongside African Union forces.
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