Contradictory accounts of a tragic incident surrounding the deaths of multiple family members near Dhuusamareeb have emerged. The terrorist group al-Shabaab blames a U.S. airstrike, while state media accuse the militants of the gruesome crime.
Galgaduud region, Galmudug, SOMALIA. By Dalmar:
Al-Shabaab, an extremist militant group operating in the region, released a statement asserting that a U.S. airstrike killed six people from a single family residing in Oodweyne, El Garas district. According to the group, the victims are five children between 3 and 7 years old and their grandmother. Moreover, al-Shabaab claimed that an American helicopter arrived at the scene and removed the bodies after the strike.
In stark contrast, the government-run Somali National News Agency (SONNA) presented a dramatically different account of the incident. According to SONNA’s statement, it is al-Shabaab militants who are responsible for the tragedy, alleging that they killed a mother and two children from the same family. Moreover, SONNA reported a different location of the purported attack. The agency says the improvised explosive device (IED) blast, which killed the family members, went off in El Lahelay, a few kilometres from El Garas. Additionally, SONNA reported that the Somali National Army (SNA) conducted a rescue operation and successfully extracted two injured civilians from the area.
While evidently describing the same incident, including the subsequent arrival of a helicopter that retrieved bodies (al-Shabaab’s version) or the injured (SONNA’s version), the conflicting information has cast a shroud of uncertainty over the incident. The lack of clarity surrounding the event underscores the need for a thorough investigation to ascertain the facts and provide accurate information to the public.
The repercussions could be significant if al-Shabaab’s version of events is verified as correct. They could tarnish the reputation of Somalia’s international partners, who have been actively involved in counterterrorism efforts in the region. The incident is a stark reminder of Somalia’s complex security challenges and the importance of carefully examining and verifying all available information to determine the truth surrounding such incidents.