Sunday 22 October 2017

Six al-Shabab members thought to have died in US drone strikes in Somalia

File photo of al-Shabab fighters (AP)
File photo of al-Shabab fighters (AP)

At least six members of the al-Shabab extremist group died in drone strikes in southern Somalia, the US military said.

A US Africa Command statement said Wednesday morning's three strikes occurred about 160 miles south of the capital, Mogadishu.

The US military has carried out several air strikes against the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab in the Horn of Africa nation since President Donald Trump approved expanded military operations against the group.

The US said the latest strikes were carried out in coordination with Somalia's government and follow's last week's announcement that two separate drone strikes had killed four al-Shabab members.

Al-Shabab holds vast areas of rural Somalia after being chased out of major cities in recent years by a multi-national African Union force and Somali forces.

The group continues to threaten the fragile central government and carry out deadly attacks in neighbouring countries, notably Kenya.

The US and Somalia in recent weeks said strikes have killed al-Shabab leaders responsible for planning and executing deadly attacks in Mogadishu, where high-profile areas such as hotels and military checkpoints are often targeted with deadly bombings.

But concerns also were raised last month after Somali officials said 10 civilians, including children, were killed in a raid by foreign and Somali forces in Barire village in the south.

The US military at the time confirmed it had supported a counter-terror operation in the area and said it would look into the allegations.

AP

Press Association

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