Death toll in Kenya raid in Somalia rises to five

AFP , Monday 31 Oct 2011

Kenyan air raid that struck a camp hosting thousands of displaced Somalis in the weekend, has killed five people, after two victims succumb to their injuries

A bomb on Sunday hit a camp in the southern town of Jilib, Somalia, where some 9,000 internally displaced children have sought refuge. Five civilians were killed due to the air raid that was carried out by the Kenyan military. 

The Kenyan military denied it had killed civilians, but Gautam Chapperjee, who heads Doctors Without Borders (MSF-Holland) Somalia mission, told AFP that the latest death toll was five, after two victims succumbed to their injuries.

"The total death is five now, according to figures we have. That would be three children, one woman and a man," he said.

A woman died while on her way for surgery in a hospital on the capital Mogadishu, while another patient died at a local clinic in the area, Chapperjee said.

Forty-four people were being treated at an MSF-run clinic in southern Somalia, the aid official said.

Kenyan military spokesman Emmanuel Chirchir said Sunday they bombed a camp of the extremist Shebab militia, against whom they launched an offensive two weeks ago. He could not confirm the civilian deaths.

Kenyan troops are battling the Al-Qaeda-inspired Shebab, accusing them of attacks and kidnappings of foreigners on its territory. The Shebab have denied the charges and warned Nairobi of reprisals.

Chapperjee said the insecurity has forced them to halt some operations.

"We had to pull out our team from Jilib yesterday because of this insecurity," he said. "So today the nutrition clinic and cholera centre are closed."

"We will re-open as soon as things are a bit safer for our staff there."

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