Somalia: US air strike 'kills 60 al-Shabab fighters'

Friday's air raid in Mudug province is the deadliest US attack since a November 2017 attack, which killed about 100.

    Al-Shabab still controls parts of Somalia's south and central regions after being chased out of Mogadishu [File: AP]
    Al-Shabab still controls parts of Somalia's south and central regions after being chased out of Mogadishu [File: AP]

    A US military air raid against the al-Shabab group in Somalia - one of its deadliest in nearly a year - has killed about 60 fighters, according to US military officials.

    The air attack, which was launched on Friday, occurred near the al-Shabab-controlled community of Harardere in Mudug province in central Somalia, the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) announced on Tuesday.

    According to its assessment, no civilians were killed or wounded, the statement said.

    It was the largest US air raid since a November 2017 attack, which killed about 100 al-Shabab fighters.

    The US military has carried out more than two dozen air raids, including drone attacks, this year against the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab.

    Somalia on Sunday marked the first anniversary of al-Shabab's deadliest attack, a truck bombing in Mogadishu that killed well over 500 people.

    An AFRICOM spokesperson said the air raid had no link to the anniversary.

    The United States has increased its military presence in Somalia since early 2017 to about 500 personnel after President Donald Trump approved expanded military operations.

    Al-Shabab continues to hold parts of the country's south and central regions after being chased out of Mogadishu several years ago.

    The group, estimated at several thousand fighters, still carries out deadly attacks against high-profile targets such as hotels and checkpoints in the capital and other cities.

    It also remains a threat in parts of neighbouring Kenya.

    SOURCE: AP news agency