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4 Pastoralists Killed in Alleged Drone Strike
Locals Claim Drones Killed Residents while TFG Blames Al-Shabaab Mortars
By AWEYS CADDE 10/07/2011
At least four Somali pastoralists were killed while one other was injured after a suspected air strike carried out by drone hit in Dolbiyow village, 35 km east of Dhobley district in Somalia's Lower Juba region on Thursday night.

Local residents told Somali Report that two missiles hit an area where pastoralists were herding their camels, killing four people and at least 10 camels.

“We believe that drones targeted them because it was a place controlled by al-Shabaab. Minutes before the airstrikes occurred vehicles carrying al-Shabaab fighters left the area,” Muktar Haji, a resident in Qoqani district near the scene, told Somalia Report.

“Four pastoralists and their camels were killed. There is terror and fear in the region since the airstrikes are increasing day after day,” he added.

Mahamad Hassan Buule, a top TFG military official in Lower Juba, denied drones were involved and alleged that al-Shabaab was behind the attack in an attempt to turn the locals against the government.

“The reports that we are getting is that al-Shabaab terrorists attacked Dalbiyow village using mortars and blamed the government and allied nations,” he told Somalia Report.

“After losing some of their bases in previous airstrikes, al-Shabaab turned their attention to the civilians. The insurgents are trying to create tension between the government and the local residents. Our people know what al-Shabaab is all about and we don't support them. They will stand together to eradicate al-Shabaab from the country after the deadly incident in Mogadishu on Tuesday,” added Buule.

In recent days airstrikes are increasing their attacks on al-Shabaab bases in southern Somalia, which is believed to be carried out by American airplanes or drones, causing al-Shabaab to flee most of their military camps in Lower Juba region.