US airstrike kills 26 more al-Shabaab fighters in Somalia

US airstrike kills 26 more al-Shabaab fighters in Somalia
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The U.S. military said Friday it killed 26 fighters from Islamic extremist group al-Shabaab a day earlier in an airstrike in Somalia.

U.S. Africa Command (Africom) said in a statement that the Thursday airstrike targeted the fighters in the Hiran region, where the U.S. military also conducted a pair of strikes earlier this week that killed 55.

This is the U.S. military’s 24th airstrike in Somalia so far this year.

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The announcement follows a trio of deadly car bomb explosions Thursday night in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu. At least 30 people were killed and dozens more injured in the attack, which has been claimed by al-Shabaab, an al Qaeda affiliate.

The Islamist terrorist group has steadily been pushed out of Somalia’s major cities and towns over the last several years but still carries out deadly attacks, including an October 2017 double bombing in Mogadishu that killed more than 500 people.

To combat the group, the military under President TrumpDonald John TrumpTed Cruz knocks New York Times for 'stunning' correction on Kavanaugh report US service member killed in Afghanistan Pro-Trump website edited British reality star's picture to show him wearing Trump hat MORE has ramped up its airstrikes in the country, last year carrying out nearly 50.

Army Brig. Gen. Gregory Hadfield, Africom's deputy director of intelligence, said in the statement that airstrikes such as Thursday’s “maintain pressure on al-Shabaab and disrupt its planning cycle and degrade its ability to mass forces and coordinate attacks against the Somali people.”