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US says drone strike kills 3 al-Shabab extremists in Somalia

September 06, 2017 - 6:59 AM

MOGADISHU, Somalia - A U.S. military drone strike has killed three members of the al-Shabab extremist group in Somalia, the U.S. Africa Command said Wednesday.

The airstrike was carried out Tuesday morning local time in the Bay region, about 75 kilometres (45 miles) west of the capital, Mogadishu, the U.S. statement said.

"We assess no civilians were anywhere near the site," a spokesman for the U.S. Africa Command, Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Falvo, told The Associated Press. He said he did not have the identities of the extremists killed.

The al-Shabab members were operating "in close proximity to" Somali army forces and African Union forces in the area "and were deemed as a credible threat," Falvo said.

The U.S. military has carried out several airstrikes against fighters with the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab in the Horn of Africa nation since President Donald Trump approved expanded military operations against the group.

That includes more aggressive airstrikes and considering parts of southern Somalia areas of active hostilities.

A 22,000-strong multinational African Union force known as AMISOM has been helping to support Somalia's fragile central government after more than two decades as a failed state. Both it and the U.S. military are trying to prepare Somalia's armed forces to take over the country's security before AMISOM's planned departure by the end of 2020.

News from © The Associated Press, 2017
The Associated Press

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