US military kills 24 Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia

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Mogadishu, Feb 1 (IANS) The US military on Thursday said its forces conducted an airstrike near a terrorist encampment in Somalia, killing 24 Al-Shabaab militants.

The US Africa Command (Africom) said the precision airstrike on Wednesday at the vicinity of Shebeeley, Hiran region is part of a larger effort to support the Somali forces as it increases pressure on the terrorist network and its recruiting efforts in the region, Xinhua reported.

“Precision strikes are part of our strategy. Strikes continue to help our partners make progress in their fight against the transnational terrorists who oppose peace in Somalia and in the region,” Gregg Olson, Africom’s director of operations, said in a statement.

Olson said the Somali National Army (SNA) and its partners will continue to effectively target terrorist training camps and assessed safe havens in order to deny Al-Shabaab the ability to build capacity and attack the people of Somalia.

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“At this time, it was assessed no civilians were injured or killed in this airstrike,” said Africom which oversees American troops on the African continent.

The US strikes have largely targeted Al-Shabaab figureheads based in southern and central Somalia where the group still maintains a strong grip.

The extremists have recently increased their attacks against Africa Union and Somali forces especially in Mogadishu, targeting their bases, hotels and other public places.

–IANS

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