US kills 13 suspected militants in Somalia
NAIROBI: The United States carried out an air strike on Christmas Eve against Al Shabaab group that left 13 dead, according to a statement released on Wednesday.
“In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, US forces conducted an air strike against Al Shabaab militants on the morning of December 24, 2017, in southern Somalia, killing 13 terrorists,” read the statement from the US Africa Command (AFRICOM).
The United States has stepped up its operations in Somalia in recent weeks, with frequent strikes against Al Shabaab and a separate self-proclaimed branch of Daesh in the Horn of Africa nation.
Three weeks ago, the US said it had killed eight Al Shabaab militants, while an air strike in November reportedly left more than 100 suspected militants dead.
The Al Qaida-linked Al Shabaab has been fighting to overthrow successive internationally backed governments in Mogadishu since 2007 and frequently deploys car and truck bombs against military, government and civilian targets.
Al Shabaab lost its foothold in Mogadishu in 2011 but has continued its fight and still controls vast rural areas.
The group is widely blamed for the country’s worst-ever bombing which in October left 512 dead.