Published: Fri, October 19, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

US strike in Somalia killed 60 militants: Pentagon

US strike in Somalia killed 60 militants: Pentagon

USA military officials have expressed concern that the group is again growing - even after losing much of its territory in Somalia in recent years and being targeted by United States drone strikes.

Some of the freshly trained al-Shabaab recruits were "burnt beyond recognition" and the death toll exceeds 75, one official said.

"We also assess that this airstrike did not injure or kill any civilians", the US Africa Command tweeted.

On Sept 21, Al-Shabab fighters attacked USA and Somalia troops north-west of Kismayo.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to reporters.

In November 2017, more than 100 militants from Islamist Al-Shabaab group were killed in a U.S. airstrike, Reuters reported. Washington says its attacks target militants groups.

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The strike came after a recent spate of attacks that Al-Shabab has conducted against Somali security forces and their United States advisers across the country.

U.S. Africa Command is authorized to conduct self-defense strikes in situations when African Union or Somali government troops accompanied by U.S. advisers came under attack.

"A large concentration of Shabaab fighters a significant distance from its typical support zone in Jubba River Valley demonstrates the al-Qaeda branch's resilience across the country", wrote Bill Roggio and Alexandra Gutowski for the Foundation for Defence of Democracies' Long war Journal.

At least two Somali soldiers were killed and two others injured in a fierce fighting with al-Shabab militants in Hiraan region of central Somalia on Tuesday.

U.S. Africa Command said in a statement that the strike occurred on October 12 near Harardere, a town 250 miles north of Mogadishu.

The US has carried out more than three dozen air strikes, including drone strikes, this year against the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab, the deadliest Islamic extremist group in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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