US military: 24 al-Shabaab fighters killed in Somalia airstrike

US military: 24 al-Shabaab fighters killed in Somalia airstrike
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A U.S. airstrike in Somalia this week killed 24 al-Shabaab fighters, U.S. Africa Command (Africom) said Thursday.

The strike was conducted Wednesday near an extremist camp close to Shebeeley in Somalia’s central Hiran region, Africom said in a news release.

“We are partnered with the Federal Government of Somalia, and other international partners, to protect the people of Somalia,” Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Gregg Olson, Africom director of operations, said in a statement. “Precision strikes are part of our strategy. Strikes continue to help our partners make progress in their fight against the transnational terrorists who oppose peace in Somalia and in the region.”

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The U.S. military said no civilians were killed or injured in the airstrike, according to the release.

The al Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabaab took credit for an attack this month on a hotel complex in Nairobi, Kenya, that killed at least 21 people, including one American.

Days after the attack, U.S. forces conducted an airstrike in Somalia they said killed at least 52 militants. Africom said that strike was in response to an attack by a “large group” of al-Shabaab fighters against Somali national army forces.

Airstrikes against al-Shabaab in Somalia have significantly increased under President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump nominates ambassador to Turkey Trump heads to Mar-a-Lago after signing bill to avert shutdown CNN, MSNBC to air ad turned down by Fox over Nazi imagery MORE. About 50 were conducted last year.

A report in early January said the Pentagon was planning to cut the number of troops and airstrikes in Somalia.