Six US air strikes kill 62 militants | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 18, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:06 AM, December 18, 2018

AL-SHABAB IN SOMALIA

Six US air strikes kill 62 militants

The US military said yesterday it had killed 62 militants in six air strikes on Saturday and Sunday in the vicinity of Gandarsh in Somalia's south-central Banaadir province.

The military's Africa Command (Africom) said four strikes were carried out on Saturday, killing 34 militants, and two more on Sunday, which killed 28. "Africa Command and our Somali partners conducted these air strikes to prevent terrorists from using remote areas as a safe haven to plot, direct, inspire and recruit for future attacks," Africom said in a statement.

The air strikes, among the deadliest this year, did not kill any civilians, the statement said. "At this time we assess these air strikes did not injure or kill any civilians."

The United States carries out regular air strikes in Somalia in support of a UN-backed government there, which has been fighting against an al Shabaab insurgency for years.

Last month, the US military said it had killed 37 militants.

US President Donald Trump expanded military operations against al-Shabab in March 2017. Traditionally, US presidents have been wary of intervening in Somalia since 18 special forces soldiers died fighting militias in the capital Mogadishu in 1993, a battle dramatised in the film Black Hawk Down.

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