U.S. Somalia air raids hit
nomads, 70 dead - Oxfam
NAIROBI, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Air attacks against fugitive
Islamists in south Somalia in recent days have
mistakenly targeted nomadic herdsmen gathering round
fires, killing 70, British-based aid agency Oxfam said
"Under international law, there is a duty to distinguish
between military and civilian targets," Oxfam added,
citing its local partner organisations in Somalia for
Washington sent a warplane into Somalia on Monday to try
and take out what U.S. officials say are top al Qaeda
suspects hiding with the Islamists.
Ethiopia, which helped the interim government of Somalia
oust rival Islamists from Mogadishu over the New Year,
has also been carrying out air raids against the
While some Somali sources have reported scores of
deaths, there has been no independent confirmation on
"Oxfam is receiving reports from its partner
organisations in Somalia that nomadic herdsmen have been
mistakenly targeted in recent bombing raids," Oxfam said
in a statement released in Nairobi.
"According to the reports from local organisations in
Afmadow district, bombs have hit vital water sources as
well as large groups of nomads and their animals who had
gathered round large fires at night to ward off
"Further reports have also confirmed that bombings have
claimed the lives of 70 people in the district."
Since the open warfare started in late December, some
70,000 Somalis have fled their homes, exacerbating an
already dire humanitarian situation, Oxfam said.