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AFRICOM denies US airstrike killed Cuban doctors

Arbaco 12 June 2024 {HMC} The U.S. military says it was not involved in the reported killing of two Cuban doctors whom the al-Shabab militant group allege died as a result of a U.S. airstrike in Somalia in February.

The latest quarterly civilian harm assessment published by U.S. Africa Command, also known as AFRICOM, confirms that U.S. forces conducted an airstrike near the town of Jilib on February 15, but denies the strike resulted in the doctors’ deaths.

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“On Feb. 17, 2024, the command received one (1) report of an online media source stating two (2) civilians were killed as a result of a U.S. military operation in the vicinity of Jilib, Somalia, on Feb. 15, 2024,” the assessment read.

“The command completed a review of available information and assessed that the U.S. airstrike conducted on Feb. 15, 2024, did not result in civilian harm.”

Without providing proof, al-Shabab at the time said “the aerial bombardment” killed Assel Herrera and Landy Rodriguez. The two had been in the militants’ custody since April 2019, when they were abducted from Mandera County in northeastern Kenya.

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