Somalia: US, Somali forces raid on Jilib kills 81 militants

By Staff Reporter , Garowe Online
Somalia's Minister of Information, Eng Abdirahman Omar Osman Yariisow speaking to the reporters in Mogadishu

JILIB, Somalia -  Somali Federal Government special forces have conducted an operation in Jilib, a main Al Shabaab stronghold in Middle Jubba region, killing at least 81 militants, Garowe Online reports.

Somalia's Information Abdirahman Yarisow confirmed that Somali National Army (SNA) with the support of foreign forces targeted a camp, where militants were regrouping to launch attacks in Gedo region.

Yarisow said the allied forces using attack helicopters swooped into the town and engaged in a deadly gunfight with Al Shabaab that left 81 of militants dead, while military vehicles and heavy arms destroyed.

"The attack targeted a bomb-making site in Jilib district," the Minister said during a press conference in the capital on Saturday without giving further details of the attack, but, an assessment is underway.

Speaking to Andalus, the mouthpiece radio channel of the militant group, Al Shabaab's military operations spokesman Sheikh Abdulaziz Abu Musab has denied the Minister's statement as baseless.

"There was no any attack on Jilib and no fighter was killed, the Minister's claims are false and baseless," said Abu Musab.

This attack was the latest in series of air raids by Somali and their allied American and African Union forces against Al Shabaab strongholds in the south and central Somalia ahead of a planned major offensive aimed at rooting out the militants.