Association for Defending Victims of Terrorism – “In coordination with the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA), U.S. Africa Command conducted a precision airstrike near Al Uwaynat, Libya, November 29, 2018, killing eleven (11) al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) terrorists and destroying three (3) vehicles,” according to an Africa Command, or AFRICOM, press release issued the next day. “At this time, we assess no civilians were injured or killed in this strike.”
Madogaz Musa Abdullah, the brother of one of the victims, says that’s impossible. “AFRICOM killed 11 people on the basis that they were terrorists, but these young men were completely against terrorism,” he told The Intercept. “They were killed without evidence. I challenge AFRICOM to produce evidence that even one of these men was on a U.S. target list.”
Abdullah, along with a spokesperson for his ethnic Tuareg community and representatives of three nongovernmental organizations, filed a criminal complaint against the former Italian commander at the U.S. air base in Sigonella, Sicily, seeking accountability for his role in the killings. They have asked the public prosecutor’s office in Siracusa, where the base is located, to investigate and prosecute Col. Gianluca Chiriatti and other Italian officials involved in the attack for murder.
“Death is a fact that we cannot deny but the injustice of eleven people being killed, accused of terrorism despite the fact they were innocent, affected us deeply especially when we had to bury them in a common grave,” said Abdullah, in a sworn statement accompanying the complaint. “This, and the hospitals refusing to issue death certificates, impacted the families of the victims psychologically, especially the mothers and fathers of the victims. We are devastated.”