World, Africa

US airstrike kills 20 al-Shabaab militants in Somalia

Tactical bombing strikes training camp in central Somalia, AFRICOM says

Umar Farooq   | 26.02.2019
US airstrike kills 20 al-Shabaab militants in Somalia FILE PHOTO

Washington DC

WASHINGTON

American forces conducted its second airstrike in a week in the Hiran province of Somalia, killing 20 al-Shabaab militants, U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) said Tuesday.

The strike targeted a location Monday which AFRICOM said was an al-Shabaab training camp and had been used to facilitate attacks in Beledweyne.

U.S. forces have been conducting strikes in Somalia as part of a strategy to help the Somali National Army reduce the strength of al-Shabaab in the region.

AFRICOM said no civilians were injured in the tactical bombing.

"We are committed to supporting our Somali partners in our shared goal of diminishing al-Shabaab's networks and disrupting its operations," AFRICOM's deputy director of intelligence Gen. Gregory Hadfield said in a statement. "This precision airstrike successfully targeted an encampment from which al-Shabaab could stage, coordinate, and execute attacks on Beledweyne."

The strike comes one day after another airstrike killed 35 militants 20 miles (32 kilometers) east of Beledweyne.

Last month, a U.S. airstrike killed at least 24 fighters in the Shebeeley village of the central Hiran region. A few days later another strike in the Lower Shabelle region killed 13 fighters, according to AFRICOM.

"U.S. forces will use all effective and appropriate methods to assist in the protection of the Somali people, including partnered military counter-terror operations with the Federal Government of Somalia, AMISOM and Somali National Army forces," the statement added.

*Kasim Ileri contributed to this report

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