Somalia air strike hits empty Red Crescent feeding

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 10, 2011 8:34 AM
Somalia air strike hits empty Red Crescent feeding

By Mohamed Ahmed and Feisal Omar

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - A warplane bombed the rebel-held southern Somali town of Baardheere Saturday, hitting a feeding center run by the Somali Red Crescent Society (SRCS) that was empty at the time, local residents said.

It was not clear who carried out the attack but Kenya, which is eight weeks into a ground and air offensive to crush the al Shabaab rebel group, acknowledged Saturday it launched another air strike on the town earlier this week.

"The warplane dropped a bomb into a Red Crescent feeding center, but there were no internally displace people at the center today," resident Kuulow Abdi Yusuf told Reuters.

Yusuf said one civilian was killed by the blast which also damaged a nearby school.

An aid worker said the death toll would have been higher had the feeding center been distributing food to displaced famine victims. The International Committee of the Red Cross, which supports the feeding center, declined to comment.

Residents said al Shabaab had sealed off the area. A Kenyan military spokesman was not immediately available.

(Additional reporting and writing by Richard Lough in Nairobi; Editing by Matthew Jones)