Somalia: U.S. Airstrike in Somalia Kills Dozens of Al-Shabaab Militants

Al-Shabaab fighter (file photo).
19 January 2019

The airstrike killed 52 militants, making it the deadliest operation in months that was carried out by the US in Somalia. US officials said it was ordered after the militant group attacked Somali forces.

The US military said on Saturday that it launched an airstrike against the extremist group al-Shabab in Somalia following an attack on a Somali military base.

A total of 52 al-Shabab fighters were killed in the airstrike and no civilians were harmed, the US Africa Command said in a statement.

The airstrike was launched near the town of Jilib in the Middle Juba region in southern Somalia.

"US Africa Command conducted the airstrike in response to an attack by a large group of al-Shabab militants against Somali National Army Forces," US military officials said in the statement.

The US statement did not say how many Somali forces were killed or wounded, although Somali General Ali Mohamed Mohamud said that seven Somali troops had died.

Al-Shabab claimed to have killed 41 soldiers during attacks on two Somali army bases.

The fighting also follows a deadly attack at a hotel complex in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi on Tuesday that was claimed by al-Shabab.

A suicide bomber and four gunmen stormed the luxury hotel complex, killing 21 people and wounding another 28.

The Islamic extremist group, which is linked to al-Qaida, controls large parts of southern and central Somalia, where they are fighting to overthrow the internationally-backed government in Mogadishu.

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