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US airstrike against al-Shabaab in Somalia kills 4, Africom says

A United States airstrike targeting al-Qaeda affiliate al-Shabaab in Somalia killed four fighters on January 18, the U.S. military’s Africa Command said.

“In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces conducted an airstrike against al-Shabaab militants on Jan. 18, approximately 50 kilometers northwest of Kismayo, killing four (4) terrorists,” Africom said in a Thursday, January 19 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.

Africom carried out its first strike of the year on January 3, killing two al-Shabaab fighters and destroying a car bomb near Mogadishu. 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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