US says it killed scores of al-Shabab fighters in central Somalia air strike – The North Africa Post

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The United States military said on Wednesday (21 September) it had killed 27 fighters from the al-Shabab militant group in an air strike in Somalia’s central Hiran region, where the army and allied forces have launched an offensive against the insurgents in the last month.
According to the US Africa Command (AFRICOM), US forces launched an air strike on al-Shabab fighters, who were attacking Somali military forces close to Buulobarde on the 18th of September. AFRICOM said no civilians were injured in what was “the largest combined Somali and [African Union Transition Mission in Somalia, ATMIS] offensive operation in five years”. For years, the US has been carrying airstrikes in Somalia to defeat al-Shabab, an armed group tied to al-Qaeda. The AFRICOM also stressed that Sunday’s strike in Buulobarde, about 200km north of the capital, Mogadishu, was the sixth recorded so far this year.
There are also reports that al-Shabab’s torching of houses, destruction of wells and killing of civilians, combined with demands for taxes amidst the worst drought in 40 years, has prompted locals to form paramilitary groups to fight alongside the government. Al-Shabab fighters destroyed food aid trucks and killed at most 19 civilians in an attack on the area earlier this month. Al-Shabab has battled Somalia’s central government for more than a decade in its push to establish its own rule based on a strict interpretation of Islamic law. The African Union Transition Mission in Somalia, (ATMIS), has not publicly acknowledged any involvement in the operation. Rights activists have accused Washington of hiding its Somalia operations under secrecy. This could make it difficult to hold Washington responsible for civilian deaths.

Source: north africa post

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