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AFRICOM, Somalia Eliminates al-Shabab Militants

The logo for the United States Africa Command.
The logo for the United States Africa Command.

The United States military Sunday said 12 al-Shabab militants were killed in a recent airstrike in central Somalia.

The U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) Sunday released a statement which reported on the “collective self-defense” strike that occurred on February 10 “at the request of the Federal Government of Somalia.”

According to the Horn of Africa nation's state-owned SNTV the strike took place in Donlaye, near Amara town in Galmudug state.

The state owned news outlet also said 117 militants lost their lives resulting from Friday’s operation.

Brigadier General Mohamed Tahlil Bihi, the infantry commander at Somalia's national army, said the militants were in trenches while fighting government forces.

AFRICOM said the strike took place in a remote location and assessed that no civilians were injured or killed.

“U.S. Africa Command will continue to assess the results of this operation and will provide additional information as appropriate,” read AFRICOM’s statement.

“Specific details about the units involved and assets used will not be released in order to ensure operations security,” added the statement.

Friday’s strike marked the third “collective self-defense” strike by the U.S. military in Somalia this year.

The previous two strikes occurred January 20 near Galcad town, killing approximately 30 al-Shabab fighters, and January 23 near Harardhere town, killing two militants.

In addition, the U.S. conducted a counterterrorism operation January 26 that killed Bilal al-Sudani, a key Islamic State Somalia branch commander in the Cal-Miskaad mountains in the Puntland semi-autonomous region.