US claims 20 al-Shabaab militants killed in Somalia strike

US claims 20 al-Shabaab militants killed in Somalia strike
The US has ramped-up attacks on the al-Qaeda linked Somali militant group.
1 min read
27 February, 2019
Somali forces are fighting al-Shabaab [Getty-file photo]
Around 20 fighters from the al-Shabaab militant group were killed following an airstrike in central Somalia, the US military said on Tuesday, a day after another airstrike in the area killed 35.

The attack on Monday took place near Shebeeley in the Hiran region and targeted a training camp used as a staging area for attacks.

"We are committed to supporting our Somali partners in our shared goal of diminishing al-Shabaab's network and disrupting its operations," US Army Brig. Gen. Gregory Hadfield, US AFRICOM, said on Tuesday in a statement.

"This precision airstrike successfully targeted an encampment from which al-Shabaab could stage, coordinate and execute attacks on Beledweyne."

It claimed 20 fighters were killed and one vehicle destroyed in the strike, while no civilians were hurt.

The US has ramped up air strikes on the al-Shabaab militant group, an al-Qaeda-linked militant ground deemed a major threat to East African countries, by Washington.

This year alone, the US has launched 23 strikes in Somalia, where the al-Shabaab group occupy rural areas, mostly in the south of the country.

Al-Shabaab controlled the capital Mogadishu in 2006, until they were pushed out by Ethiopian-backed forces. 

Although they have lost control of most towns and cities once under their command, they continue to launch deadly militant attacks across East Africa.