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3 killed, 52 wounded in Somalia after airstrike hits camp for displaced civilians
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) ' An air raid hit a camp for displaced civilians in southern Somalia, killing at least three people and wounding dozens of mostly women and children, an international aid agency said.
Doctors Without Borders, which is also known as Medecins Sans Frontieres or MSF, said 52 people were wounded when bombs hit the camp in the town of Jilib on Sunday. About 1,500 families had fled to the area amid Somalia's devastating famine earlier this year.
"MSF urges all parties to the conflict in Somalia to respect the rights of civilians in conflict," the group said in a statement.
Kenyan troops moved into southern Somalia in mid-October, backed by military aircraft. Kenya blamed Islamist militants for carrying out a string of kidnappings on Kenyan soil, and Kenyan military chiefs say they are engaging with the militants by land, sea and air.
A Kenyan military spokesman did not answer a call seeking comment concerning the air assault at the camp.
"The planes targeted a bus stop. They also hit near a refugee camp and finally hit an al-Shabab base," said town elder Ahmed Sheik Don.
Meanwhile, the Danish Refugee Council said it had made its first contact with an American aid worker and her Danish colleague who were kidnapped last week in Somalia.
"It has been some very long days as we have been waiting for signs of life. It is truly a relief that we now have received the message that they are as well as possible their circumstances taken into consideration," said Ann Mary Olsen, the head of the Danish Refugee Council's International Department.
Olsen said the aid agency, which falls under the Danish Refugee Council, is appealing to traditional leaders and clan elders to help release the hostages.
Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991. African Union troops have been engaged in fierce fighting in the country's the capital to push Islamist militants out of their last base in the city. On Saturday, the Islamists launched an attack with two suicide bombers, killing at least 10 people. The militants said one of the suicide bombers was a Somali-American.