The rights group Amnesty International says US airstrikes in Somalia have killed civilians in violation of international humanitarian law – an allegation the US denies.
Amnesty says, in a report, that in just five airstrikes that it studied, 14 civilians were killed and seven more injured.
Under the presidency of Donald Trump the US air campaign targeting al-Shabab militants has intensified.
In 2018, the US conducted at least 47 airstrikes in Somalia.
So far this year, it’s tally is more than half of that number. With each announcement, its Africa Command – or Africom – insists that there were no civilian casualties recorded.
But Amnesty says it has gathered photographic and eyewitness accounts that prove otherwise.
Among these was an airstrike in November 2017 in which Africom says it killed several militants.
Amnesty’s findings say three local farmers were the victims.
The rights group concludes that such cases might constitute war crimes.
It adds that the victims’ families and communities have no effective means of reporting these incidents.
The US has denied the accusations. A spokesperson recently told the BBC that Africom exercises restraint to reduce the likelihood of civilian casualties.
Despite the increased airstrikes, al-Shabab still controls large rural parts of central and southern Somalia.