'Several' killed after USA airstrike on Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia

'Several' killed after USA airstrike on Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia

'Several' killed after USA airstrike on Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia

A USA drone strike killed "several militants" with al-Shabab in Somalia, the military said, as the Trump administration increasingly targets what has become the deadliest Islamic extremist group in Africa.

Earlier this month the USA military carried out its first airstrikes in Somalia against ISIS, which is a small but growing presence in the northern part of the Horn of Africa nation.

Separately, Somalia's Information Minister Abdirahman Osman on Saturday said 81 al-Shabab fighters were killed in an operation by Somali security forces in Jilib district, with the extremists' camp there destroyed.

"Al-Shabaab is publicly committed to planning and conducting attacks against the United States and our partners in the region", it said, vowing to intensify airstrikes against the militants in Somalia.

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AFRICOM said in a statement the attack was carried out by US forces, with the support of Somali National Army (SNA) at Gaduud area, about 250Km miles southwest of Mogadishu at around 4:30 p.m. A spokeswoman told The Associated Press that no civilians were anywhere near the strike.

Washington said Al-Shabaab has pledged allegiance to Al-Qaida and is dedicated to providing safe haven for terrorist attacks across the world. It happened at about 9 a.m. Sunday. The first was earlier this month.

Although the group lost control of most cities and towns, al Shabab continues to dominate in many rural areas of southern Somalia and is reportedly becoming increasingly present in the northern region.

The U.S. has intensified its fight against terrorists after President Trump gave the Pentagon more authority to carry out airstrikes in Somalia. The AU pullout is set to be complete by the end of 2020.

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