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US says four Shabaab militants killed in Somalia strike

Washington, United States | AFP | US forces in Somalia said Friday that four Al-Shabaab militants were killed in an airstrike as part of the ongoing offensive against the jihadist rebels.

The US Africa Command said the strike took place on Thursday in southern Somalia, around 50 kilometers (30 miles) northwest of the port city of Kismayo.

Africa Command did not provide details on the attack, which it said was undertaken “in coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia.”

But it said no civilians were killed.

“US forces will continue to use all authorized and appropriate measures to protect US citizens and to disable terrorist threats,” US Africa Command said in a statement.

It was the second strike by US forces so far this year against the Shabaab militants.

The group has been fighting to overthrow successive internationally backed governments in Mogadishu since 2007, and frequently deploy car and truck bombs against military, government and civilian targets.

US military attacks have increased over the past year.

According to a study by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington think tank, 35 US air strikes were conducted in Somalia in 2017, a huge increase over prior years.

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