By Mohammed Dhaysane
MOGADISHU, Somalia (AA) - A U.S. drone airstrike in Somalia this Tuesday killed at least six civilians, including a 13-year-old boy, according to a Somali lawmaker.
The U.S. African Command airstrike in the town of Janale in the lower Shabelle region killed at least six unarmed civilians who were traveling to the capital Mogadishu, Mahad Dhoore, a lawmaker from the Southwest state, told local media on Thursday.
"The U.S. African Command (Africom) airstrike hit a minibus carrying unarmed innocent civilians in Janale," Dhoore was quoted as saying.
The six civilians killed by the U.S. airstrike include a 13-year-old who was traveling with his family, he added.
Africom released a statement saying that the airstrike killed five al-Shabaab terrorists, adding that it had taken measures to avoid civilian casualties.
"While we currently assess that this airstrike injured no civilians, we are aware of social media reports alleging civilian casualties resulting from this strike. U.S. Africa Command complies with the law of armed conflict and takes all feasible precautions during the targeting process to minimize civilian casualties and other collateral damage," said Africom in a statement.
It was the 26th airstrike by the U.S. in the Horn of Africa nation in only 69 days.