Nearly 60 al-Shabab militants killed in Somalia

Nearly 60 al-Shabab militants killed in Somalia

A recent US air strike in Somalia killed about 60 Al-Shabaab militants in the largest strike against the group in almost a year, the USA military said on Tuesday.

In November 2017, more than 100 militants from Islamist Al-Shabaab group were killed in a USA air strike.

The US is reported to have carried out more than 25 airstrikes in 2018 only, including drone strikes against al-Shabaab which is linked to al Qaeda.

"We now assess this airstrike killed approximately sixty (60) terrorists", said the statement. The statement gave no further details about what was targeted, and a U.S. Africa Command spokesman said it was not a camp.

Air assaults and missile strikes have increased in recent months against Shabaab, an Al-Qaeda affiliate fighting to overthrow the internationally backed Somali government in Mogadishu.

The airstrike came just days before the one-year anniversary of al-Shabaab's deadliest attack - a truck bombing in Somalia's capital that killed more than 500 people. It was one of the world's deadliest attacks since 9/11 and the worst extremist attack ever in Africa.

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Al-Shabab, which has been fighting to establish an Islamic state in Somalia for nearly a decade, continues to hold parts of the country's south and central regions after being chased out of Mogadishu several years ago.

The statement added that Africa Command now assesses that no civilians were killed or injured in the strike. It also remains a threat in parts of neighbouring Kenya.

According to a report by Daily Monitor, the strike took place close to where the USA forces train Somali troops in partnership with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

"The group uses portions of southern and central Somalia to plot and direct terror attacks, steal humanitarian aid, extort the local populace to fund its operations and shelter radical terrorists".

The U.S. says it continues to support that transfer even as some U.S. military officials have joined AU officials and others in expressing concern that Somalia's forces are not yet ready.

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