African Union troops fighting al-Shabaab Islamists in Somalia have killed 14 civilians whom they mistook for militants.

Officials and witnesses said on Monday in Mogadishu that the Ethiopian troops had been told that al-Shabaab militants had entered the southern village of Wardinle to attack their nearby base.

They said the troops reportedly attacked the village with gunfire, tanks and heavy shelling late Sunday.

Ibrahim Yarow, a legislator who visited the area, said that the civilian victims included elderly men and Islamic scholars, while one AU soldier was also killed.

He said that the AU troops had received “wrong information’’.

A senior police officer who also visited the area explained that “we know that it is hard to distinguish al-Shabaab fighters from ordinary civilians, but that doesn’t justify the killings.’’

Author: Cerebral Lemon