US army says it killed 13 al-Shabab fighters in Somalia

Friday’s attack was the 10th this year in the Horn of Africa country carried out by the US army.

Al Shabab [Hamza Mohammed/Al Jazeera]
The US army has carried out at least 10 air attacks in Somalia this year targeting al-Shabab fighters [File: Al Jazeera]

At least 13 al-Shabab fighters, have been killed in an air raid outside the Somali capital, Mogadishu, the US army said.

In a statement released on Saturday, US Africom said that the attack happened in Gandarshe, 48km south of Mogadishu, on Friday.

“To support the Federal Government of Somalia’s continued efforts to degrade al-Shabab, US Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting al-Shabab fighters in the vicinity of Gandarshe, Lower Shebelle Region, Somalia, on February 1, 2019,” the statement said.

“US Africa Command currently assesses this airstrike killed thirteen (13) militants. At this time, it was assessed no civilians were injured or killed in this airstrike.”

This is the 10th attack by the United States this year in the Horn of Africa country. Last year, it carried out at least 48 attacks in Somalia, killing more than 330 fighters, according to The Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

Al-Shabab is an al-Qaeda-linked armed group fighting to overthrow the country’s Western-backed government. The group regularly stages attacks against the Somali military and against troops from the African Union-mandated peacekeeping force AMISOM. 

On Thursday, an air attack by the US army killed 24 al-Shabab fighters in neighbouring Hiran region.

On Saturday, an al-Shabab suicide bomber detonated an explosive-laden vehicle at a checkpoint manned by Ethiopian troops in the southern town of Bardhere.

Local security officials told AFP news agency that four Ethiopian troops were killed in the blast.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies