Jet raid toll in southern Somalia rises to 7

January 16, 2012 11:48 pm 

MOGADISHU, Jan. 16 — The death toll has risen to seven from five after Sunday's fighter jet bombing in southern Somalia controlled by the Islamist Al-Shabaab group, local residents reported.

The jets, thought to be belong to the Kenyan military, raided a base of Al-Shabaab near the southern town of Jilib.

It hit a residence close to the rebel base and killed five children and two militant fighters, witnesses said.

"We heard a huge bang and when we got to the scene we saw the blooded bodies of the three dead children and two severely wounded kids who later died," Muse Yahya, a resident, told Xinhua by phone.

Kenya jets had on previous occasions carried out attacks on Islamist bases in southern Somalia.

Witnesses said two of the fighters at the targeted base died and that "some other fighters" were wounded in the attack which they said were carried out by jets.

Islamist fighters have so far not commented on the raids by the jets. Kenya and the Somali government troops are currently carrying out a joint military offensive against the Al-Qaeda linked movement.

The offensive was launched in October following a spate of kidnappings of foreigners from Kenya blamed on the militant group.

The Kenyan and Somali governments accuse the militant group of being behind growing insecurity along the common border. (PNA/Xinhua)

RMA/hbc/utb

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