At least three children were killed as up to 12 al Shabaab members were targeted and killed by a night time airstrike, local and international media reported – though it was unclear who was behind the attack.
Several senior al Shabaab officials were killed or wounded in an airstrike, Somalia intelligence officials reportedly said. The intelligence officials said the strike hit both a training school and nearby general hospital in Saakow, in the Middle Juba region.
According to Xinhua: “Independent sources confirmed the attack on al-Shabab militants in Sakow town, saying at least three children were killed in a school. A resident in Sakow town told Xinhua by phone that the warplane dropped four shells into the center of the town near the Jubba River there. ‘I cannot tell you the number of casualties in the airstrike here because I did not get out of my home since this morning, but shells were four that created big fear,” said the resident who asked for anonymity.'”
Hassan Yaqub, a longtime al Shabaab commander, was reportedly targeted in the action. The Somali Deputy Information Minister Adam Isak Ali said that Yaqub had been injured. Twelve members of the group were also killed, he said.
Meanwhile, Al Shabab said three children were killed in what it described as a drone attack, while a local elder told Mareeg also said at least three children died in the strike, which was confirmed it said by witnesses who contacted local radio stations.
Associated Press reported that several young recruits were killed. This suggests that the youngsters may instead have been child soldiers.
It was not clear who had carried out the strike, AP reported. US Africa Command said it had not carried out a strike since September 11th. Kenya also carried out strikes in Somalia at this time, as did Ethiopia. A local news site reported it as a Kenya strike.However, Kenya was also not thought to have precision night time strike capabilities at this time.
A statement from the Somali deputy information minister said only that the action was conducted by “international partners”.
#BREAKING: #Alshabaab releases photos purporting to show a destroyed hospital and school in Sakow district in middle Jubba region, the photos also shows bodies of three said to be students at a local Quranic School. #Somalia pic.twitter.com/U4zDJcZENj
— Somalia Live Update (@HassanIstiila) September 19, 2018
The incident occured during the night.
Sources (5) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention that the strike targeted a school and nearby hospital in the town of Saakow (سااكوو). Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to locate the school and hospital. The coordinates for the town of Saakow (سااكوو) are: 1.637795, 42.452829.