USA military says kills 40 militants by airstrikes in Somalia last week

USA military says kills 40 militants by airstrikes in Somalia last week”

A pair of USA drone strikes that killed several militants on November 3 marked the first time American forces hit Islamic State group fighters in Somalia.

The operation occurred near Bulogudud, about 400 km southwest of the capital city of Mogadishu, the U.S. Africa Command (Africom) said late Sunday.

The U.S. Africa Command (Africom) said five airstrikes were conducted between November 9 and 12, killing 36 Al-Shabaab insurgents in central and southern Somalia and four IS fighters in northeast Somalia.

Al-Shabaab, an Islamist militant group linked to al-Qaeda, has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying a suicide bomber rammed a vehicle bomb into the convoy ferrying allied forces heading to the capital. "The U.S. forces subsequently conducted the strike under collective self-defense authorities", it added. "The Federal Government will continue to the military operations including the use of airstrikes against al-Shabaab in response to the cowardly attacks against civilians, as well as on Somali security forces and AMISOM".

Washington said Al-Shabaab has pledged allegiance to Al-Qaida and is dedicated to providing safe haven for terrorist attacks across the world.

This attack comes as the United States is stepping up its military airstrikes inside Somalia, targeting Al Shabaab and pro-ISIL militants in the country's northeastern semiautonomous state of Puntland.

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