U.S. airstrikes killed four members of the al-Shabab extremist group and destroyed a vehicle carrying explosives near the Somali capital, U.S. Africa Command said Thursday.
The strike, carried out on Wednesday evening 25 kilometers west of Mogadishu, prevented the “vehicle-borne improvised explosive device” from being used against civilians in the capital, the statement from the military said.
The statement also said that the U.S. Africa Command had assessed no civilians were killed in the strike, which was carried out in coordination with Somalia’s federal government.
The United States has carried out over 30 such airstrikes against terrorist group al-Shabab and a small but growing number of Islamic State-linked fighters in the past year.
On Wednesday, the Pentagon said a December 24 airstrike in southern Somalia killed 13 al-Shabab militants northwest of the coastal city of Kismayo.
“The strike targeted the militants as they mobilized to launch an attack against our base. Fortunately, the military from a friendly nation disabled them with a drone strike and killed 13 of them,” a Somali military commander in the area told VOA.
Earlier this year, the Trump administration approved expanding military operations in the Horn of Africa nation, where al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab is attempting to overthrow the Somali government and impose a strict version of Islamic law.
Source: Voice of America