'Several' killed after USA airstrike on Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia

US drone

US drone

AFRICOM said in a statement the attack was carried out by US forces, with the support of Somali National Army (SNA) at Gaduud area, about 250Km miles southwest of Mogadishu at around 4:30 p.m.

"In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces conducted two separate airstrikes against Al-Shabaab and ISIS, in Somalia on November 12, killing several terrorists", Africom said in a statement.

Mogadishu: At least 81 terrorists belonging to the al-Shabaab were killed by the security forces in Jilib province of Somalia.

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"U.S. forces will continue to use all authorized and appropriate measures to protect Americans and to disable terrorist threats", AFRICOM said.

The U.S. military confirmed that it conducted the two airstrikes against the Islamist State (IS) and Al-Shabaab militants early Sunday in Somalia, killing "several terrorists". Previously, the US military had only been able to launch airstrikes against al-Shabab fighters in self-defense situations when African Union or Somali government troops accompanied by American advisers were under attack.

The attacks by unmanned drones ramp up the military's campaign against al-Shabab and the Islamic State group, the AP reported.

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Earlier this month, the USA carried out its first airstrike against ISIS fighters in Somalia, targeting a small but growing cell that emerged in the northern Puntland region just two years ago.

Al Shabab has been blamed for carrying out the deadliest single attack in Somalia's history last month, though there was no official claim of responsibility. Many of its fighters are reported to be former al-Shabab members who switched allegiances.

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