United States strike in Somalia killed 60 militants: Pentagon

US Air Force F-15 fighter jet

A recent US air strike in Somalia killed about 60 Al-Shabaab militants in the largest strike against the group in almost a year, the USA military said on Tuesday.

"This precision air strike was the largest air strike against Al-Shabaab since November 21, 2017", when air-dropped US munitions targeted one of the group's training camps, killing about 100 extremists, US Africa Command said in a statement.

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It was the largest United States air strike since a November 2017 attack, which killed about 100 al-Shabab fighters.

"Alongside our Somali and worldwide partners, we are committed to preventing al-Shabab from taking advantage of safe havens from which they can build capacity and attack the people of Somalia", the US Africa Command said.

The US has carried out more than three dozen airstrikes, including drone strikes, this year against the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab, the deadliest Islamic extremist group in sub-Saharan Africa.

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In March of 2017, President Donald Trump authorized the United States military to carry out precision strikes targeting al-Shabaab in an effort to bolster the Federal Government of Somalia.

Al-Shabab continues to hold parts of the country's south and central regions after being chased out of Mogadishu several years ago. It also remains a threat in parts of neighboring Kenya.

U.S. Africa Command said in a statement that the strike occurred on October 12 near Harardere, a town 250 miles north of Mogadishu.

Some observers have questioned the effectiveness of airstrikes by the U.S. and Kenya and raised concerns about civilians being killed.

According to a report by Daily Monitor, the strike took place close to where the U.S. forces train Somali troops in partnership with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

While the USA has conducted 27 airstrikes against al-Shabaab in 2018, though usually the strikes target small groups of militants.

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