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U.S. Troops Back Somali Forces In Deadly Raid Near Mogadishu

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Somali troops backed by U.S. forces raided a village near capital Mogadishu in an attack that local officials say killed at least 10 civilians.

Local leaders and Somali authorities differed on the identities of those killed in the August 25 raid.

A deputy governor for the region said 10 civilians, including three children, were killed in the raid on a farm.

The Somali army said all of the dead were members of the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab militia and that no civilians were hurt in the action.

The Somali Information Ministry initially also said all of those killed were militants.

But ministry officials later amended their statement, saying it noted that there were “civilian casualties” and that "it appears that there were different security operations" in the area.

The U.S. military’s Africa Command confirmed participation in a raid in the area but did not provide details. Commanders said they were investigating the claims that civilians were killed in the action.

The U.S. military’s presence is growing in the Horn of Africa nation, which has been embroiled in a civil war since 1991.

U.S. President Donald Trump this year gave the military the authority to widen its campaign against extremists, including the use of expanded air strikes.

Al-Shabaab is considered the deadliest Islamic extremist group in Africa.

The extremists were forced out of the major cities by Somali forces and units of the multinational African Union force, but they still control vast areas of rural Somalia and have carried out attacks in neighboring countries.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters