Two airstrikes in southern Somalia kill ‘21 militants’
MOGADISHU, Somalia – At least 21 members of the Al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group, Al-Shabab were killed in two airstrikes in southern Somalia, the country’s state media reported, Garowe Online reports.
Somali National Army Radio, citing unnamed military officials said the separate airstrikes took place in Mubarak and Janale towns in the southern Lower Shabelle region, which are under the control of Al-Shabab Thursday night, August 16.
The first airstrike struck Mubarak area while the second hit a nearby Janale town, about 80 Kilometers southwest of Mogadishu, the Somali capital.
The army radio station, however, did not provide further details about which country belongs the fighter jets conducted the aerial bombardments.
The airstrikes were announced shortly after a pair of car bombs killed nine Somali soldiers and a local cameraman embedded with the army at an army base in Awdheegle in the same region on Wednesday.
The U.S. has carried out dozens of such strikes this year, more than half the number in all of 2018 into territory controlled by Al-Shabab,” helping Somali and AU partner forces able to stabilize the nation.
The United States says it acts in coordination with Somalia’s UN-backed government whose military is expected to take over responsibility for the country’s security from AU forces over the next few years.
The 22,000 African Union soldiers who have arrived in the country in 2007 began gradual withdrawal this year, but some security analysts warn that Somali forces are not yet prepared.
Despite being driven out of its main strongholds in the south, the Islamist group still controls swathes of territory and remains lethal as it is carrying out persistent terrorist attacks in the country and Kenya.