US military claims airstrike that killed three al-Shabaab fighters in Somalia

File: The US military claimed responsibility for an airstrike in Somalia that killed three soldiers belonging to military group al-Shabaab. Photo: REUTERS / US AIR FORCE

NAIROBI – The US military killed three members of Islamist militant group al-Shabaab in an airstrike in Somalia conducted with government forces, the US Africa Command said on Wednesday.

Tuesday's strike took place in Bay region, some 75km west of the capital, Mogadishu, and also involved help from peacekeepers from the African Union Mission in Somalia.

READ: US air military strike al-Shabaab base in Somalia 

"The Department of Defence conducted a precision airstrike in central Somalia against al-Shabaab militants on... September 5th at approximately 9:50 am local Somalia time, killing three terrorists," it said.

Al-Shabaab, which is linked to al-Qaeda, has lost control of most of Somalia's cities and towns since it was pushed out of Mogadishu in 2011. It retains a strong presence in parts of the south and centre and carries out gun and bomb attacks.

READ: Special forces raid on al-Shabaab

The group aims to topple the government, drive out African Union peacekeeping troops and impose its own harsh interpretation of Islamic law. In March, US President Donald Trump granted new authority for increased airstrikes in Somalia. 


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