Somalia: 9 militants dead in US air raid on Al-Shabab

By Staff reporter , Garowe Online

KISMAYO, Somalia - The U.S. military said Tuesday at least nine Al-Shabaab members were killed and one injured in a fresh airstrike in southern Somalia on Monday, 1st October, Garowe Online reports.

In a statement, U.S. Africa command, known as [AFRICOM], confirmed that the airstrike was carried out a rebel-held area located about 40 kilometers northeast of Kismayo, a key port city in southern Somalia.

"In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces conducted an airstrike after al-Shabaab militants attacked Somali forces approximately 40 kilometers northeast of Kismayo, Somalia, on October 1, 2018," read the statement.

AFRICOM has added that it currently assess no civilians were injured or killed in this airstrike, believed to have carried out by a manned aircraft in an undisclosed area near Kismayo.

The United States has hundreds of special soldiers in Somalia who are providing training and assistance for local forces and African Union troops fighting against Al Shabaab, the most dangerous Al-Qaeda ally in East Africa.

The strikes targeting Al-Shabaab and pro-Islamic State militants in Puntland have been made possible by President Donald Trump's decision in April 2017 to grant new authorities to the commander of Africa Command.

Since last year, at least two U.S. soldiers were killed and several injured in separate Al-Shabaab attacks in Lower Shabelle and Lower Jubba regions in southern Somalia.