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US military says 52 Somali Islamists killed in airstrike

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Al-Shabaab militants. PHOTO: AFP

United States military forces carried out an airstrike Saturday against Islamist group Al-Shabaab, killing 52 militants, following an attack on a Somali army base, according to a statement from US Africa Command.

“US Africa Command conducted the airstrike in response to an attack by a large group of al-Shabaab militants against Somali National Army Forces. We currently assess this airstrike killed fifty-two militants,” read the statement.

Military officials and local elders in Somalia said heavily-armed Shabaab militants had launched a dawn raid on the military camp, followed by a heavy exchange of gunfire which lasted hours.

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“The terrorists attacked Bulogagdud military base using heavy weaponry and explosives. The Somali military and Jubaland forces resisted the enemy before later retreating back from the base,” Mohamed Abdikarin, a Somali military official told AFP by phone.

“Six soldiers were killed during the attack and two others died after a booby-trapped vehicle was detonated when the forces retook control of the base,” he added.


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