Residents: Peacekeepers kill 5 children in Somali town

By REUTERS
January 17, 2013 19:47

 
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MOGADISHU - African Union peacekeepers trying to dislodge Islamist rebels from Somalia's Lower Shabelle region shot dead at least seven civilians in a remote town, including five children who were studying the Koran, residents said on Thursday.

The peacekeeping force said it was investigating an incident in which civilians may have been caught in crossfire as its troops repelled a rebel attack on a defensive position in the town of Leggo.

"Initial reports indicate that some civilians, including children, were killed and others are hospitalized with gunshot wounds," it said in a statement, adding that it was "establishing the facts and the circumstances around this tragic incident."

People from Leggo said the soldiers opened fire on a cluster of makeshift homes at dawn on Tuesday and there were no gun battles between the troops and the rebels at the time.

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