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US airstrike against al-Shabaab in Somalia kills 2 and destroys car bomb, Africom says

A United States airstrike targeting al-Qaeda affiliate al-Shabaab in Somalia killed two people and destroyed a car bomb near the capital Mogadishu on January 2, the U.S. military’s Africa Command said in a statement.

“In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces conducted an airstrike against al-Shabaab militants in the early morning hours of Jan. 2, 2018, approximately 50 kilometers west of the capital, killing two terrorists and destroying one vehicle-borne improvised explosive device, preventing it from being used against the people in Mogadishu,” Africom said in a Wednesday statement.

The command said no civilians were killed in the strike.

The strike is the latest in an increasing number of U.S. airstrikes against al-Shabaab and Abnaa ul-Calipha, Islamic State’s affiliate in Somalia.

On December 27, an airstrike against al-Shabaab west of Mogadishu destroyed a car bomb and killed four people. Three days earlier, an airstrike targeting al-Shabaab in southern Somalia killed 13 people. On December 15, an airstrike 30 miles northwest of Kismayo killed eight people. Three days earlier, on December 12, a U.S. airstrike targeted an al-Shabaab car bomb near Mubarak, 65 kilometers (40 miles) from Mogadishu.

On November 27, Africom targeted Abnaa ul-Calipha in northeastern Somalia. A week earlier, the command said an airstrike killed more than 100 al-Shabaab militants 125 miles northwest of Mogadishu. On November 15, Africom said a drone strike about 60 miles north Mogadishu killed “several” al-Shabaab militants. Four days earlier, Africom said it struck al-Shabaab in the Bay region, about 100 miles west of Mogadishu.

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