US conducts strike on al Shabaab, Somalia says training base destroyed

By REUTERS
June 11, 2017 17:08
1 minute read.
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WASHINGTON/NAIROBI - The Pentagon said it had carried out an air strike on al Shabaab in Somalia on Sunday, and Somalia said its special forces had joined in the attack to destroy one of the jihadist insurgent group's main training and command posts.

The office of President Mohamed Abdullahi said the base was located on Sakow, in the Middle Juba region in southern Somalia.

"Earlier today, I authorized our special forces with the support of our international partners to conduct a strike against an al Shabaab training camp near Sakow," his statement said.

"This was a successful strike that destroyed a key al Shabaab command and supply hub. This will ultimately disrupt the enemy’s ability to conduct new attacks within Somalia."

The statement did not specify the extent of damage or say if there had been casualties. There was no immediate comment from al Shabaab.

Since being pushed out of the capital Mogadishu in 2011, al Shabaab has lost control of most of Somalia's cities and towns. But it still retains a strong presence in swathes of the south and center and still carries out major gun and bomb attacks.

The group aims to topple Somalia's government, drive out African Union peacekeeping troops and impose its own harsh interpretation of Islamic law.

On Thursday, al Shabaab killed 59 people in an attack on a military base in the semi-autonomous Puntland region in northern Somalia.

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