US air strikes target al-Shabaab after Mogadishu bombing

Asad Cumar Mataan

The US military has said it carried out airstrikes in Somalia that killed four “terrorists” of the al-Shabaab militant group following the deaths of at least 79 people in a car bombing in Mogadishu.

“In coordination with the federal government of Somalia, US Africa Command [Africom] conducted three airstrikes in two locations targeting al-Shabaab militants in the vicinity of Qunyo Barrow and Caliyoow Barrow, Somalia, respectively, December 29,” Africom said in a statement.

The strikes came one day after Somalia’s deadliest attack in two years.

US strikes in Somalia surged after Donald Trump declared the south of the country an “area of active hostilities”.

The rate of air strikes has risen sharply this year, and in an April statement Africom said it had killed more than 800 people in 110 air strikes in Somalia since April 2017.

Saturday’s attack in Mogadishu has not been claimed but the city is regularly hit by car bombings and attacks waged by Al-Shabaab Islamist militants allied to al-Qaida. Al-Shabaab was forced out of the Somali capital in 2011 but still controls parts of the countryside.

Source: Agence France-Presse