US says airstrike in Somalia killed one civilian, injured three

"We work hard to prevent civilians from getting hurt or killed during these operations designed to bring increased security and stability to Somalia."

A general view shows people at the scene of a suicide car explosion at a check point near Somali Parliament building in Mogadishu, Somalia June 15, 2019 (photo credit: FEISAL OMAR/REUTERS)
A general view shows people at the scene of a suicide car explosion at a check point near Somali Parliament building in Mogadishu, Somalia June 15, 2019
(photo credit: FEISAL OMAR/REUTERS)
The United States said on Tuesday one civilian was killed and three were injured in a US airstrike in Somalia in February, the second such admission since it launched quarterly reports on civilian casualties in its Africa operations.
In a report, US Africa Command (AFRICOM) said a verification of the facts and circumstances about a February 2 airstrike triggered by allegations of civilian deaths established one civilian had been killed while three were injured.
"Unfortunately, we believe our operations caused the inadvertent death of one person and injury to three others who we did not intend to target," AFRICOM's commander, Gen. Stephen Townsend was quoted as saying.
"We work hard to prevent civilians from getting hurt or killed during these operations designed to bring increased security and stability to Somalia."
The airstrike, AFRICOM said, took place in the vicinity of Jilib, an area about 380 km (236 miles) south of Somalia's capital Mogadishu.
AFRICOM's civilian casualty assessment reports cover its operations in Somalia, Libya and other African countries. The initial report published in April said two civilians were killed and three injured in an air strike in Somalia in early 2019.
The United States has been conducting airstrikes in Somalia for years to help defeat the Islamist group al Shabaab.
Al Shabaab seeks to topple Somalia's Western-backed central government and set up its own rule based on its strict interpretation of Islamic sharia.
Rights activists have long accused the United States of shrouding its Somalia operations in secrecy, potentially undermining accountability for incidents involving civilian deaths.