Somalia: US says air strike kills 12 militants, al-Shabaab seizes central town

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The US military says an air strike against Somali extremist group al-Shabaab killed 12 militants on Thursday.

The United States Africa Command confirmed the strike on Friday, which was carried out in conjunction with Somalia’s government. However, a separate group of al-Shabaab fighters later seized the central Somali town of Muqokori on Friday.

Us air strike kills 12 militants

In a statement released on Friday, US Africa Command said 12 al-Shabaab fighters were killed in an air strike that was conducted roughly 30 miles (48 kilometres) southwest of the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

The US military also confirmed that no civilians were killed during the operation, which was the 11th air strike carried out by US forces against al-Shabaab since the beginning of the year.

Al-Shabaab seize central Somali town

Shortly after the US military announced its latest airstrike against al-Shabaab fighters, a separate group of militants seized the central Somali town of Muqokori, less than 200 miles (32okm) north of Mogadishu.

According to residents in the town, fighting broke out in Muqokori late on Friday, almost a month after Somali troops forced al-Shabaab militants out of the town.

The extremist group claims dozens of Somali troops were killed in fighting but the government has suggested the few troops remaining in the town were withdrawn for “strategic reasons”.

Featured image: Afrc.af.mil

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.