How sure is the African Union that al-Shabaab is using their own dead? They have shown they are more than willing to make all the dead bodies they need. In any event, “war is deceit” (Sahih Bukhari 4.52.267). “AU: Somali militants ‘dressed up’ bodies for stunt,” by Abdi Guled and Katharine Houreld for the Associated Press, October 21:
MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) “” Al-Qaida-linked militants claimed to have killed 70 foreign African Union peacekeepers but an eyewitness said many of the bodies put on display were likely Somali government soldiers. An AU spokesman said Friday that the insurgents had stolen uniforms and dressed up scores of their own dead.
The militants said the bodies were proof they are still capable of putting up a fight despite coming under attack on two fronts.
African Union troops and government soldiers pushed the al-Shabab militia from their last bases in the capital on Thursday, AU spokesman Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda said. And Kenyan troops supporting a pro-government militia have pushed at least 60 miles (100 kilometers) inside Somalia in the past week.
Al-Shabab has retreated before the Kenyan forces so far, but the militants have struck back in the capital with a series of bombings “” including a truck bomb that killed over 100 people. On Thursday, they put up a bloody fight when AU forces arrived in Deynile, al-Shabab’s last base in Mogadishu.
The militants showed around 60 bodies after the fierce fighting, according to several eyewitnesses. Photos show that some of those displayed wore flak jackets and helmets “” equipment that is issued to AU soldiers but not common among government troops or insurgents. But many other bodies were only dressed in green camouflage uniforms.
One eyewitness, a photographer at the scene, said he counted 58 bodies. There were about 30 men in the line who were clearly Somali and some wore tattered government-issued uniforms, he said. The origin of nine bodies was unclear because their faces were down in the sand or for other reasons, he said.
But 19 others wore the type of uniform given to Burundian troops and looked like foreigners, he said. The militants also displayed a Bible and some crucifixes, items unlikely to be carried by Muslim Somalis. He did not see any identity documents, he said.
“Unlikely to be carried by Muslim Somalis,” but there are also the Somali Christians al-Shabaab has killed. One of al-Shabaab’s most recent Christian victims was killed near Deynile.
The eyewitness spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing reprisals because his observations contradicted the militants’ account.
Ankunda said that 10 soldiers had been killed and two were missing after Thursday’s battle. The bodies of the 10 dead soldiers were safely in AU hands, he said. An internal AU document seen by The Associated Press said that 38 soldiers also had been wounded.
“It’s a manipulated picture,” Ankunda said. “They dressed up their own casualties … I think they’ve been keeping some uniforms.”
Later, he said that the uniforms were so new that the Burundians had not even been issued them yet….