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US says four jihadists killed in Somalia air strikes

The US military said Wednesday it carried out three air strikes north of Somalia's capital Mogadishu, killing four fighters from the Al-Shabaab Islamist group. The strikes took place Tuesday in Beledweyne, 350 kilometers (220 miles) north of Mogadishu, after militants from the group with links to Al-Qaeda attached Somali soldiers, US Africa Command said in…

(FILES) In this handout photo taken on June 10, 2016 and released by AMISOM shows Major General Nakibus Lakara, the Acting Force Commander of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), examining weapons and walkies-talkies captured from Al-Shabaab militants. – In the past decade 2010-2019 Somali Islamist group Al-Shabaab has lost territory, suffered defections and faced increased US air strikes, but analysts say the group is as strong a threat as ever, flourishing under a weak government. Despite years of expensive efforts to combat the group, Al-Shabaab managed once again to detonate a vehicle packed with explosives in Mogadishu, massacring 81 people on Saturday in one of the deadliest attacks of the decade. (Photo by Ilyas Hamed / AMISOM / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – MANDATORY CREDIT “AFP PHOTO

The US military said Wednesday it carried out three air strikes north of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, killing four fighters from the Al-Shabaab Islamist group.

The strikes took place Tuesday in Beledweyne, 350 kilometers (220 miles) north of Mogadishu, after militants from the group with links to Al-Qaeda attached Somali soldiers, US Africa Command said in a statement.

Initial indications are that no civilians were killed or wounded in the operation, Africom said.

Al-Shabaab has led an insurrection against Somalia’s federal government for 15 years. The group’s fighters were driven out of Mogadishu in 2011 by an African Union force.

However, the group still controls swathes of countryside and frequently strikes civilian and military targets. Its attacks have intensified in recent months.

In May, US President Joe Biden ordered the reestablishment of a US troop presence in Somalia to help local authorities combat Al-Shabaab, reversing a decision by his predecessor Donald Trump to withdraw most US forces.

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