US says strike kills 27 Shabaab militants in Horn of Africa

Monday June 4 2018


Members of Al-Shabaab at an undisclosed location in Somalia. Air assaults and missile strikes against the jihadists have increased in recent months. FILE PHOTO | AFP 

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US forces have carried out their second Horn of Africa air strike in three days, killing another 27 Al-Shabaab jihadists, the American military said on Monday.

The latest strike occurred on Saturday in Somaliland, about 26 miles (42 kilometers) southwest of Bosasso port in Puntland, a semi-autonomous region.

A statement from the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) gave no further details of the operation but said it was carried out in coordination with Somalia's government.

On Friday, AFRICOM said a US air strike had killed 12 militants from the Shabaab, an Al-Qaeda affiliate, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) southwest of Mogadishu on Thursday.

The Shabaab is fighting to overthrow the internationally-backed government in Mogadishu, to the south.

Somali commandos often carry out operations side-by-side with the American forces that train them. Air assaults and missile strikes have increased in recent months.

This was the 12th American strike against the Shabaab since the beginning of the year.

US forces also partner with the United Nations-backed African Union Mission in Somalia, which has about 21,600 troops in the country.

Different Islamist groups are active in Puntland, including one that split from the Shabaab in 2016 pledging allegiance to the Islamic State group.

Somaliland declared itself independent from Somalia in 1991 but is not recognized by any country.

In May, deadly clashes occurred between forces from Puntland and those of Somaliland.