USA says airstrike killed dozens of extremists in Somalia

Over 100 Islamist militants killed in Somalia

A U.S. military drone strike has killed more than 100 al-Shabab militants in Somalia, U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) said.

Some 100 al-Shabaab militants have been killed in an American airstrike in Somalia, according to US and Somali officials.

Al-Shabab is an affiliate of the Al-Qaida terrorist network and has been the frequent target of US strikes in recent months.

NAN reports that the Trump administration has more than doubled the number of US troops in Somalia this year, putting them at the highest level since the 1993 Black Hawk Down episode that left 18 Americans dead.

US officials are also concerned about a growing presence of the Islamic State (ISIS) militant group in the country, and a potential influx of ISIS fighters into the country as the group loses territory in Iraq and Syria.

The U.S. this month also began targeting a small but growing IS presence in northern Somalia.

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"It's obvious from what we were seeing that these were militants", AFRICOM spokesman Lieutenant Commander Anthony Falvo told VOA.

IS claimed its first suicide attack in Somalia in May, killing at least five people as it stepped up activities in a region dominated by al-Shabaab.

"US forces will continue to use all authorised and appropriate measures to protect Americans and to disable terrorist threats".

The surge in United States operations came after President Donald Trump in March loosened the constraints on the United States military to take actions against alleged terrorists when they judge it is needed, without seeking specific White House approval. Before, they were only allowed to carry out strikes in defense of partnered forces.

There have been 29 strikes acknowledged by the Pentagon so far this year.

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