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US finally admits to civilian casualties in controversial Yemen attack

The Pentagon has admitted to civilian casualties in a raid carried out by US Navy SEALs forces, over a month after its occurrence.

Context: US soldiers shoot and kill an 8-year-old girl in Yemen

"We have made a determination based on our best information available that we did cause … between four and 12 casualties," US Army General Joseph Votel told a Senate hearing, adding he accepted responsibility for shortcomings in the operation.

Critics have questioned the value of the raid against Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), authorised by President Donald Trump, in which US Navy SEAL William "Ryan" Owens also died.

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The Pentagon said it is carrying out an investigation into the details surrounding Owens' death and another review into the destruction of a US military helicopter in the operation.

Votel said a separate, "exhaustive after-action review" had not found incompetence, poor decision-making or bad judgment.

"As a result, I made the determination that there was no need for an additional investigation into this particular operation," Votel said.

About 12 civilians died in a raid against Al-Qaeda in Yemen on 29 January, the head of the US military's Central Command said yesterday, but local figures claim the casualties to be much higher.

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Asia & AmericasMiddle EastNewsUSYemen
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