US Says Four Jihadists Killed in Somalia Air Strikes

The US military said Wednesday it carried out three air strikes north of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, killing four fighters from the Al-Shabaab Islamist group.

The strikes took place Tuesday in Beledweyne, 350 kilometers (220 miles) north of Mogadishu, after militants from the group with links to Al-Qaeda attached Somali soldiers, US Africa Command said in a statement.

Initial indications are that no civilians were killed or wounded in the operation, Africom said.

Al-Shabaab has led an insurrection against Somalia’s federal government for 15 years. The group’s fighters were driven out of Mogadishu in 2011 by an African Union force.

However, the group still controls swathes of countryside and frequently strikes civilian and military targets. Its attacks have intensified in recent months.

In May, US President Joe Biden ordered the reestablishment of a US troop presence in Somalia to help local authorities combat Al-Shabaab, reversing a decision by his predecessor Donald Trump to withdraw most US forces.

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