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US military kills 24 al-Shabab militants in central Somalia

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-02-01 02:03

A police officer looks on as firefighters work in front of burning vehicles at the scene of explosion in Mogadishu, Somalia, 29 January 2019. [Photo/IC]

MOGADISHU -- The United States military said Thursday its forces conducted an airstrike near a terrorist encampment in central Somalia on Wednesday, killing 24 al-Shabab terrorists.

The US Africa Command (Africom) said the precision airstrike at the vicinity of Shebeeley, Hiran region is part of a larger effort to support the Somali forces as it increases pressure on the terrorist network and its' recruiting efforts in the region.

"Precision strikes are part of our strategy. Strikes continue to help our partners make progress in their fight against the transnational terrorists who oppose peace in Somalia and in the region," Gregg Olson, Africom's director of operations, said in a statement.

Olson said the Somali National Army (SNA) and its partners will continue to effectively target terrorist training camps and assessed safe havens in order to deny al-Shabab the ability to build capacity and attack the people of Somalia.

"At this time, it was assessed no civilians were injured or killed in this airstrike," said Africom which oversees American troops on the African continent.

The U.S. strikes have largely targeted al-Shabab figureheads based in southern and central Somalia where the group still maintains a strong grip.

The extremists have recently increased their attacks against Africa Union and Somali forces especially in Mogadishu, targeting their bases, hotels and other public places.

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