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US airstrike on Al-Shabaab in Somalia kills 3 militants


U.S. forces conducted an airstrike in Somalia on August 27, killing three militants associated with the al-Qaeda affiliate al-Shabaab, U.S. Africa Command said.

“In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces conducted an airstrike targeting al-Shabaab militants approximately 40 kilometres southwest of Mogadishu, Somalia, on August 27, killing three terrorists,” Africom said in a press release.

“We currently assess no civilians were injured or killed in this airstrike.”

The strikes are the latest in an increasing number of U.S. airstrikes against insurgents from al-Shabaab and Abnaa ul-Calipha, Islamic State’s affiliate in Somalia, in recent months. Most recently, Africom struck suspected al-Shabaab militants 46 kilometres northeast of Kismayo on August 22, killing two.

“U.S. forces will continue to use all authorized and appropriate measures to protect U.S. citizens and to disable terrorist threats. This includes partnering with AMISOM and Somali National Security Forces (SNSF) in combined counterterrorism operations and targeting terrorists, their training camps, and their safe havens throughout Somalia and the region,” the command said on Wednesday.

The U.N. Security Council reauthorized the African Union Mission in Somalia on May 15. It was first launched in 2007 to defend the internationally-backed government against al-Shabaab, and more than 22,000 personnel are deployed on the mission. Africom works with AMISOM on both advise-and-assist missions as well as air support missions to target al-Shabaab’s forces but has drawn controversy from strikes that have killed civilians.

On May 11, Africom launched a review on a raid after locals near Bulcida claimed civilians had been shot dead in an operation involving two military helicopters and Special Forces.