Air attack kills 5, injures 45 in Somalia

  • Updated: October 31, 2011 - 11:20 PM

 

An air strike hit a refugee camp in southern Somalia, killing at least five people and wounding 45, the aid organization Doctors Without Borders said Monday. Kenya's military acknowledged carrying out an air raid but said it targeted only Al-Shabab, an Islamist insurgent group in Somalia.

Details emerged, meanwhile, about an American-Somali man who Al-Shabab said carried out a suicide attack Saturday against an African Union base in Mogadishu, the Somali capital. Al-Shabab identified the man as Abdisalan Taqabalahullaah.

Omar Jamal, of the Somali mission to the United Nations, identified the man as Abdisalan Hussein Ali of Minneapolis, based on what he said were Ali's friends listening to an audiotape posted by Al-Shabab.

Ali was 19 when he disappeared in 2008 from Minnesota, which has a large Somali-American community. In July 2010, he was indicted in the U.S. with several other men. Charges included conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization and conspiracy to kill, maim, kidnap and injure.

Accounts differed on who was to blame for civilian casualties from the Kenyan air strike, but Al-Shabab used them to try to win more recruits. Kenyan military spokesman Maj. Emmanuel Chirchir blamed an Al-Shabab fighter for the civilian deaths, saying he drove a burning truck of ammunition into the refugee camp in the town of Jilib where it exploded.

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