US military denies civilians killed in Somalia operation

The Daily Beast on Wednesday published details about the U.S. troops’ alleged role in the reported killing of 10 civilians, at least 1 of whom was a child, in Bariire, Somalia.

That incident occurred during the early hours of August 25. 

U.S. Africa Command Public Affairs initially said only members of al-Shabab, a militia linked to al-Qaeda, were killed and that U.S. soldiers served only a supportive role. 

That explanation has since been under a great deal of scrutiny. 

23 PHOTOS
Somalia drought and famine crisis
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Somalia drought and famine crisis

Abdullahi Mohamud, 5, cries next to his mother Sahro Mohamed Mumin, 30, and brother, Abdulrahman Mahamud, 2, as a nurse struggles to find a vein for an injection at a government run health clinic on February 25, 2017 in Shada, Somalia. Abdullahi was diagnosed with bronchitis, Abdulrahman with pneumonia. Both children were also suffering from severe malnutrition.The family lost all of their animals due to drought and had traveled 150 kilometers in search of a better situation. Somalia is currently on the brink of famine with over half of the country's population facing acute food insecurity according to the United Nations. The intensifying crisis has humanitarian groups racing to stop a repeat of 2011, in which 260,000 people died of famine throughout country.

(Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

People and livestock gather at a nearly dried up riverbed on February 24, 2017 in Dhudo, Somalia. People travel up to 75 kilometers to get water, as it is one of the only sources left in the region. Somalia is currently on the brink of famine with over half of the country's population facing acute food insecurity according to the United Nations. The intensifying crisis has humanitarian groups racing to stop a repeat of 2011, in which 260,000 people died of famine throughout country.

(Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

Fatun Mohamed Sareye, 30, sits at her home with her family at the Shabelle IDP (internally displaced people) camp on February 26, 2017 in Garowe, Somalia. Sareye lost both her husband and her sister in a water born illness in the had killed a reported 20 people in the past two weeks. She now is charged with taking care of 11 children, seven of her own and four of his sisters. Somalia is currently on the brink of famine with over half of the country's population facing acute food insecurity according to the United Nations. The intensifying crisis has humanitarian groups racing to stop a repeat of 2011, in which 260,000 people died of famine throughout country.

(Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

A young boy suffering from malnutrition lies in a bed inside the malnutrition ward at Garowe General Hospital on February 27, 2017 in Garowe, Somalia. Somalia is currently on the brink of famine with over half of the country's population facing acute food insecurity according to the United Nations. The intensifying crisis has humanitarian groups racing to stop a repeat of 2011, in which 260,000 people died of famine throughout country.

(Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

A dead cow sits just outside an IDP (Internally Displaced People) camp on February 24, 2017 in Karin Sarmayo, Somalia. Brief rains brought an estimated 100,000 people to the region in search of land for their livestock, but very limited pasture has lead to mass animal deaths and a growing number of IDP camps. Somalia is currently on the brink of famine with over half of the country's population facing acute food insecurity according to the United Nations. The intensifying crisis has humanitarian groups racing to stop a repeat of 2011, in which 260,000 people died of famine throughout country.

(Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

Goats eat from the trash in a dried riverbed on February 27, 2017 in Garowe, Somalia. Somalia is currently on the brink of famine with over half of the country's population facing acute food insecurity according to the United Nations. The intensifying crisis has humanitarian groups racing to stop a repeat of 2011, in which 260,000 people died of famine throughout country.

(Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

Abdullahi Mohamud, 5, cries next to his mother Sahro Mohamed Mumin, 30, and brother, Abdulrahman Mahamud, 2, as a nurse struggles to find a vein for an injection at a government run health clinic on February 25, 2017 in Shada, Somalia. Abdullahi was diagnosed with bronchitis, Abdulrahman with pneumonia. Both children were also suffering from severe malnutrition.The family lost all of their animals due to drought and had traveled 150 kilometers in search of a better situation. Somalia is currently on the brink of famine with over half of the country's population facing acute food insecurity according to the United Nations. The intensifying crisis has humanitarian groups racing to stop a repeat of 2011, in which 260,000 people died of famine throughout country.

(Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

Boys look out over a dried riverbed on February 27, 2017 in Garowe, Somalia. Somalia is currently on the brink of famine with over half of the country's population facing acute food insecurity according to the United Nations. The intensifying crisis has humanitarian groups racing to stop a repeat of 2011, in which 260,000 people died of famine throughout country.

(Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

A young girl suffering from malnutrition lies in a bed inside the malnutrition ward at Garowe General Hospital on February 27, 2017 in Garowe, Somalia. Somalia is currently on the brink of famine with over half of the country's population facing acute food insecurity according to the United Nations. The intensifying crisis has humanitarian groups racing to stop a repeat of 2011, in which 260,000 people died of famine throughout country.

(Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

A man draws water from a nearly dried up riverbed on February 24, 2017 in Dhudo, Somalia. People travel up to 75 kilometers to get water, as it is one of the only sources left in the region. Somalia is currently on the brink of famine with over half of the country's population facing acute food insecurity according to the United Nations. The intensifying crisis has humanitarian groups racing to stop a repeat of 2011, in which 260,000 people died of famine throughout country.

(Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

Fardowsa Abdullahi is measured at a government run health clinic on February 24, 2017 in Dhudo, Somalia. The two-year-old girl weighed 6.5 kilograms and was suffering from severe malnutrition. Somalia is currently on the brink of famine with over half of the country's population facing acute food insecurity according to the United Nations. The intensifying crisis has humanitarian groups racing to stop a repeat of 2011, in which 260,000 people died of famine throughout country.

(Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

Women and children sit inside the malnutrition ward at Garowe General Hospital on February 27, 2017 in Garowe, Somalia. Somalia is currently on the brink of famine with over half of the country's population facing acute food insecurity according to the United Nations. The intensifying crisis has humanitarian groups racing to stop a repeat of 2011, in which 260,000 people died of famine throughout country.

(Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

Medical staff treat a child suffering from malnutrition at Garowe General Hospital on February 27, 2017 in Garowe, Somalia. Somalia is currently on the brink of famine with over half of the country's population facing acute food insecurity according to the United Nations. The intensifying crisis has humanitarian groups racing to stop a repeat of 2011, in which 260,000 people died of famine throughout country.

(Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

Women and children sit inside the malnutrition ward at Garowe General Hospital on February 27, 2017 in Garowe, Somalia. Somalia is currently on the brink of famine with over half of the country's population facing acute food insecurity according to the United Nations. The intensifying crisis has humanitarian groups racing to stop a repeat of 2011, in which 260,000 people died of famine throughout country.

(Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

Boys watch as water is pumped from a nearly dried up riverbed on February 24, 2017 in Dhudo, Somalia. People travel up to 75 kilometers to get water, as it is one of the only sources left in the region. Somalia is currently on the brink of famine with over half of the country's population facing acute food insecurity according to the United Nations. The intensifying crisis has humanitarian groups racing to stop a repeat of 2011, in which 260,000 people died of famine throughout country.

(Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

Medical staff treat a child suffering from malnutrition at Garowe General Hospital on February 27, 2017 in Garowe, Somalia. Somalia is currently on the brink of famine with over half of the country's population facing acute food insecurity according to the United Nations. The intensifying crisis has humanitarian groups racing to stop a repeat of 2011, in which 260,000 people died of famine throughout country.

(Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

Boys play football in an empty lot on February 27, 2017 in Garowe, Somalia. Somalia is currently on the brink of famine with over half of the country's population facing acute food insecurity according to the United Nations. The intensifying crisis has humanitarian groups racing to stop a repeat of 2011, in which 260,000 people died of famine throughout country.

(Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

Sahro Mohamed Mumin, 30, looks at her son Abdulrahman Mahamud, 2, who was diagnosed with pneumonia and severe malnutrition, at a government run health clinic on February 25, 2017 in Shada, Somalia. Mumin's family lost all of their animals due to drought and had traveled 150 kilometers in search of a better situation. Somalia is currently on the brink of famine with over half of the country's population facing acute food insecurity according to the United Nations. The intensifying crisis has humanitarian groups racing to stop a repeat of 2011, in which 260,000 people died of famine throughout country.

(Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

Recently dug graves sit at the edges of a cemetery at the Shabelle IDP (internally displaced people) camp on February 26, 2017 in Garowe, Somalia. The camp had seen an reported 20 deaths from a water born illness in the past two weeks. Somalia is currently on the brink of famine with over half of the country's population facing acute food insecurity according to the United Nations. The intensifying crisis has humanitarian groups racing to stop a repeat of 2011, in which 260,000 people died of famine throughout country.

(Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

A doctor checks on a young girl at a government run clinic inside an IDP (Internally Displaced People) camp on February 24, 2017 in Karin Sarmayo, Somalia. Brief rains brought an estimated 100,000 people to the region in search of land for their livestock, but very limited pasture has lead to mass animal deaths and a growing number of IDP camps. Somalia is currently on the brink of famine with over half of the country's population facing acute food insecurity according to the United Nations. The intensifying crisis has humanitarian groups racing to stop a repeat of 2011, in which 260,000 people died of famine throughout country.

(Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

People and livestock gather at a nearly dried up riverbed on February 24, 2017 in Dhudo, Somalia. People travel up to 75 kilometers to get water, as it is one of the only sources left in the region. Somalia is currently on the brink of famine with over half of the country's population facing acute food insecurity according to the United Nations. The intensifying crisis has humanitarian groups racing to stop a repeat of 2011, in which 260,000 people died of famine throughout country.

(Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

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The Daily Beast spoke with numerous people with knowledge of the incident and reports, “The details that emerged paint a damning picture of at least one U.S. ground operation in the African nation.” 

It describes the operation as being U.S.-led and based on non-vetted intelligence from individuals known to be unreliable. 

The Daily Beast further suggests that according to inside sources, the results of a Somali-led investigation into the killings were suppressed at the behest of American diplomats.

However, a statement by U.S. Africa Command Public Affairs, released on Wednesday, states, “the only casualties were those of armed enemy combatants.” 

It also offers assurances that U.S. Special Operations Command Africa conducts “detailed planning and coordination to reduce the likelihood of civilian casualties and to ensure compliance with the Law of Armed Conflict.” 

In another media release titled, ‘Why the U.S. Military is in Somalia,’ it provided details on the operations in Somalia.

“Our military actions, to include strikes against the Al-Qaeda-aligned Al-Shabaab terrorist group and – more recently – against a new Islamic State of Iraq and Syria-aligned group, are done in support and with the concurrence of the Federal Government of Somalia,” the command noted. “Our policy is to support Somalia-led efforts to encourage members of the Al-Shabaab and ISIS to defect and pledge support to the Somali Government. When that is not possible, our military policy to target these groups is in accordance with the laws of armed conflict and in support of our broader stabilization goals.”

26 PHOTOS
Somalia Violence
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Somalia Violence
Somalia federal government soldiers conduct random check of public transport vehicles during a patrol on the streets of Mogadishu on February 18, 2015, as part of an operation against Al-Shebab insurgents. Al-Qaeda-affiliated Shebab rebels are fighting to overthrow the country's internationally-backed government. AFP PHOTO/Mohamed ABDIWAHAB (Photo credit should read Mohamed Abdiwahab/AFP/Getty Images)
Suspected Al-Shebab members are arrested by Somali security forces in Mogadishu on February 18, 2015, during an operation against Al-Shebab insurgents. Al-Qaeda-affiliated Shebab rebels are fighting to overthrow the country's internationally-backed government. AFP PHOTO/Mohamed ABDIWAHAB (Photo credit should read Mohamed Abdiwahab/AFP/Getty Images)
Somali men watch on September 6, 2014 in Mogadishu news on a television channel, broadcasting a portrait of Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab slain leader Ahmed Abdi Godane, recently killed in a US air strike. Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab militants on September 6 announced the appointment of Godane's successor naming Ahmad Umar Abu Ubaidah, described by Shebab sources as a close lieutenant to Godane -- although the name is seen as likely to be a pseudonym. The group also vowed to avenge the death of Godane and said they would continue their fight to topple the country's internationally-backed government. AFP PHOTO / MOHAMED ABDIWAHAB (Photo credit should read Mohamed Abdiwahab/AFP/Getty Images)
Somali men watch the news on September 6, 2014 in Mogadishu on a television set where is broadcasted a portrait of Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab slain leader Ahmed Abdi Godane, recently killed in a US air strike. Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab militants on September 6 announced the appointment of Godane's successor naming Ahmad Umar Abu Ubaidah, described by Shebab sources as a close lieutenant to Godane -- although the name is seen as likely to be a pseudonym. The group also vowed to avenge the death of Godane and said they would continue their fight to topple the country's internationally-backed government. AFP PHOTO / MOHAMED ABDIWAHAB (Photo credit should read Mohamed Abdiwahab/AFP/Getty Images)
Soldiers of the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) secure an area near the Godka Jillicow prison in Mogadishu on August 31, 2014. Somali security forces said on August 31 they had killed at least four Shebab militants, ending a coordinated car bomb and gun attack against the national intelligence headquarters and a detention facility in the capital Mogadishu. AFP PHOTO / ABDIFITAH HASHI NOR (Photo credit should read ABDIFITAH HASHI NOR/AFP/Getty Images)
Soldiers of the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) secure an area near the Godka Jillicow prison in Mogadishu on August 31, 2014. Somali security forces said on August 31 they had killed at least four Shebab militants, ending a coordinated car bomb and gun attack against the national intelligence headquarters and a detention facility in the capital Mogadishu. AFP PHOTO / ABDIFITAH HASHI NOR (Photo credit should read ABDIFITAH HASHI NOR/AFP/Getty Images)
Military officers stand near the site of a major car bomb and gun attack against an intelligence headquarters and detention facility in the center of Mogadishu, which police said left at least seven militants dead, on August 31, 2014. Police and witnesses said a car bomb was detonated outside the National Intelligence Center and was followed by a raid by gunmen disguised in national army uniforms -- a style of attack bearing all the hallmarks of the Al-Qaeda-linked Islamist Shebab militia. The assault came a day after Somalia's national army and African Union forces said they had captured a Shebab stronghold as part of a joint offensive aimed at capturing key ports from the Islamist fighters and cutting off a key source of revenue for the rebels. AFP PHOTO / Mohamed Abdiwahab (Photo credit should read Mohamed Abdiwahab/AFP/Getty Images)
The site of a major car bomb and gun attack against an intelligence headquarters and detention facility in the center of Mogadishu, which police said left at least seven militants dead on August 31, 2014. Police and witnesses said a car bomb was detonated outside the National Intelligence Center and was followed by a raid by gunmen disguised in national army uniforms -- a style of attack bearing all the hallmarks of the Al-Qaeda-linked Islamist Shebab militia. The assault came a day after Somalia's national army and African Union forces said they had captured a Shebab stronghold as part of a joint offensive aimed at capturing key ports from the Islamist fighters and cutting off a key source of revenue for the rebels. AFP PHOTO / Abdifitah Hashi Nor (Photo credit should read ABDIFITAH HASHI NOR/AFP/Getty Images)
The site of a major car bomb and gun attack against an intelligence headquarters and detention facility in the center of Mogadishu, which police said left at least seven militants dead on August 31, 2014. Police and witnesses said a car bomb was detonated outside the National Intelligence Center and was followed by a raid by gunmen disguised in national army uniforms -- a style of attack bearing all the hallmarks of the Al-Qaeda-linked Islamist Shebab militia. The assault came a day after Somalia's national army and African Union forces said they had captured a Shebab stronghold as part of a joint offensive aimed at capturing key ports from the Islamist fighters and cutting off a key source of revenue for the rebels. AFP PHOTO / Mohamed Abdiwahab (Photo credit should read Mohamed Abdiwahab/AFP/Getty Images)
People stand at the site of a major car bomb and gun attack against an intelligence headquarters and detention facility in the center of Mogadishu, which police said left at least seven militants dead on August 31, 2014. Police and witnesses said a car bomb was detonated outside the National Intelligence Center and was followed by a raid by gunmen disguised in national army uniforms -- a style of attack bearing all the hallmarks of the Al-Qaeda-linked Islamist Shebab militia. The assault came a day after Somalia's national army and African Union forces said they had captured a Shebab stronghold as part of a joint offensive aimed at capturing key ports from the Islamist fighters and cutting off a key source of revenue for the rebels. AFP PHOTO / Mohamed Abdiwahab (Photo credit should read Mohamed Abdiwahab/AFP/Getty Images)
Somali soldiers patrol in Wadajir district South of capital following heavy fighting as Somali government and African Union troops battled a powerful militia warlord in a bid to disarm him, on August 15, 2014 in Mogadishu. Somalia's government launched a disarmament campaign earlier this month, with troops backed by the AU mission in Somalia (AMISOM) today fighting to seize weapons from militia leader Ahmed Dai. AFP PHOTO/MOHAMED ABDIWAHAB (Photo credit should read Mohamed Abdiwahab/AFP/Getty Images)
Somali soldiers patrol in Wadajir district South of capital following heavy fighting as Somali government and African Union troops battled a powerful militia warlord in a bid to disarm him, on August 15, 2014 in Mogadishu. Somalia's government launched a disarmament campaign earlier this month, with troops backed by the AU mission in Somalia (AMISOM) today fighting to seize weapons from militia leader Ahmed Dai. AFP PHOTO/MOHAMED ABDIWAHAB (Photo credit should read Mohamed Abdiwahab/AFP/Getty Images)
Somali soldiers patrol in Wadajir district South of capital following heavy fighting as Somali government and African Union troops battled a powerful militia warlord in a bid to disarm him, on August 15, 2014 in Mogadishu. Somalia's government launched a disarmament campaign earlier this month, with troops backed by the AU mission in Somalia (AMISOM) today fighting to seize weapons from militia leader Ahmed Dai. AFP PHOTO/MOHAMED ABDIWAHAB (Photo credit should read Mohamed Abdiwahab/AFP/Getty Images)
Soldiers of the African Union's AMISOM check weapons and ammunition seized after heavy fighting early on August 15, 2014 at the Halane military base in Mogadishu as African Union troops backed government forces in the battle to seize weapons from a local militia. Bursts of gunfire and heavy explosions were reported before dawn with rocket-propelled grenades fired by both sides, with witnesses reporting at least five dead. AFP PHOTO/ABDULFITAH HASHI NOR (Photo credit should read ABDULFITAH HASHI NOR/AFP/Getty Images)
Sheikh Muhammad Khalifa (C) Chairman of the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK) addresses a press conference with others Muslim leaders on June 17, 2014 in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi following the massacre of over 60 people along the Kenyan coast in attacks claimed by the Somalia-based Shabab islamists. Kenya's top Muslim leaders warned Tuesday that Islamist attacks and a harsh government response risked dividing the country along ethnic and religious lines that could trigger a repeat of the deadly post-election violence six years ago even as al-Shabab claimed a new attack in which 15 people have been killed just 24 hours after Somalia's Shebab rebels massacred close to 50 people in the same area. AFP PHOTO/Tony KARUMBA (Photo credit should read TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images)
An injured man is carried on a stretcher to Madina hospital after heavy fighting as Somali government and African Union troops battled a powerful militia warlord in a bid to disarm him, on August 15, 2014 in Mogadishu. Somalia's government launched a disarmament campaign earlier this month, with troops backed by the AU mission in Somalia (AMISOM) today fighting to seize weapons from militia leader Ahmed Dai. AFP PHOTO/Abdulfitah Hashi Nor (Photo credit should read ABDULFITAH HASHI NOR/AFP/Getty Images)
A Somalia carries the body of his child, whose death was caused by heavy fighting as Somali government and African Union troops battled a powerful militia warlord in a bid to disarm him, on August 15, 2014 in Mogadishu. Somalia's government launched a disarmament campaign earlier this month, with troops backed by the AU mission in Somalia (AMISOM) today fighting to seize weapons from militia leader Ahmed Dai. AFP PHOTO/Abdulfitah Hashi Nor (Photo credit should read ABDULFITAH HASHI NOR/AFP/Getty Images)
An injured man is escorted to Madina hospital after heavy fighting as Somali government and African Union troops battled a powerful militia warlord in a bid to disarm him, on August 15, 2014 in Mogadishu. Somalia's government launched a disarmament campaign earlier this month, with troops backed by the AU mission in Somalia (AMISOM) today fighting to seize weapons from militia leader Ahmed Dai. AFP PHOTO/Abdulfitah Hashi Nor (Photo credit should read ABDULFITAH HASHI NOR/AFP/Getty Images)
Students hold placards and gesture on August 13, 2014 in the Somalian capital Mogadishu, during a demonstration to protest Israel's military operation in Gaza. Egyptian mediators scrambled on August 13 to secure agreement from both sides to extend a three-day lull expiring at midnight, as five weeks of bloody fighting has killed more than 1,950 Palestinians, 64 Israeli soldiers and three civilians in Israel. AFP PHOTO/Mohamed ABDIWAHAB (Photo credit should read Mohamed Abdiwahab/AFP/Getty Images)
Three suspected Shebab Islamic militants are tied to large wooden stakes before being executed by a firing squad on August 3, 2014 in Mogadishu. The three men were condemned to death for murder, police chief Abdi Mohamed told AFP, with one of the men allegedly taking part in an assault on the presidential palace last month. The executions come three days after another Somali MP was assassinated by Shebab guerrillas in the capital, the fifth this year, as the militants step up their attacks in Mogadishu to counter claims that their insurgency is waning. AFP PHOTO / MOHAMED ABDIWAHAB (Photo credit should read Mohamed Abdiwahab/AFP/Getty Images)
A member of the Somali security forces looks at blood stains on the ground following a bomb blast in Mogadishu on August 3, 2014. At least three city workers, all women, were killed when a bomb hidden in a rubbish pit exploded in the Somali capital while they were cleaning the streets. AFP PHOTO/ABDIFITAH HASHI NOR (Photo credit should read ABDIFITAH HASHI NOR/AFP/Getty Images)
Somali security forces patrol following a bomb blast in Mogadishu on August 3, 2014. At least three city workers, all women, were killed when a bomb hidden in a rubbish pit exploded in the Somali capital while they were cleaning the streets. AFP PHOTO/ABDIFITAH HASHI NOR (Photo credit should read ABDIFITAH HASHI NOR/AFP/Getty Images)
(From L) Omar Liban Abdulle, Mohamed Abdi Ahmed, Hussein Hassan Mustafa and Adan Mohamed Ibrahim, appear in court on August 5, 2014, in Nairobi, charged in connection with the Westgate mall massacre in September 2013.The trial of the four men accused of helping the gunmen behind Kenya's Westgate mall massacre in September 2013 in which at least 67 people were killed, resumed on August 5 in the capital nairobi. AFP PHOTO / SIMON MAINA (Photo credit should read SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images)
MOGADISHU, SOMALIA - JULY 5: A car bomb attack, staged near parliament building, kills 4 people and injures 3 others in Mogadishu, Somalia on July 5, 2014. (Photo by Ismael Abdallah/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Eritreans and Somalian refugees receive clothes donated by the religious community of Lampedusa to migrants on February 18, 2015. Authorities on the Italian island of Lampedusa struggled to cope with a huge influx of newly-arrived migrants as aid organisations warned the Libya crisis means thousands more could be on their way. Officials on the tiny island south of Sicily were trying to process more than 1,200 exhausted, often traumatised and ill Africans in a reception centre designed for less than a third of that number. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)
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