US accused of killing 22 in misdirected Somalia air strike

September 28, 2016 20:03

MOGADISHU - An air strike in northern Somalia left as many as 22 soldiers dead overnight, local officials said on Wednesday, and one region said the United States had been duped into attacking its troops.

Galmudug's Security Minister Osman Issa said 22 of his region's soldiers had been killed in the strike, adding that the rival neighboring region of Puntland had requested it on the pretext that the men were al Shabaab Islamist militants."Puntland misinformed the United States and thus our forces were bombed," he told Reuters.

A US Defense Department official told Reuters Washington had conducted "a self-defense air strike" against al Shabaab.

"The air strike was called in after Somali troops faced fire from militants," the official said. No evidence had been seen that the attack killed civilians or anyone other than al Shabaab militants, the official added.

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