BEIRUT

Middle East

Report: AU troops in Somalia killed 7 civilians

Ugandan soldiers serving with the African Union Mission in Somalia keep watch on a street next to where AMISOM combat engineers clear sand, debris and rubble from an area known as El-Gabta or "Peace Gardens" in central Mogadishu in this handout taken and released January 29, 2013 by the African Union-United Nations Information Support Team. REUTERS/Stuart Price/AU-UN IST PHOTO/Handout

NAIROBI: A joint Somali-African Union investigation into a case of civilian casualties found that African Union troops killed seven civilians, including five children.

The investigation, though, found that the troops acted within internationally accepted rules of engagement during the mid-January incident. It said that the al-Qaida-linked group, al-Shabab, attacked an African Union patrol near a village, and that the soldiers defended themselves appropriately.

The force commander, Lt. Gen. Andrew Gutti, said he was saddened by the loss of civilian life, but he blamed the incident on al -Shabab, saying that the group demonstrates little regard for the safety of the Somali people.

 

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