US strike kills 6 al-Shabaab militants in Somalia

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The US carried out a strike in Somalia that killed six al-Shabaab militants on Friday, US Africa Command said in a statement.

The strike was in “self-defense,” according to the command, or AFRICOM, and it was carried out at the request of the Somali government. According to an initial assessment, no civilians were killed or injured, AFRICOM said.

It was the third such strike in 10 days, and it occurred in the same area of Somalia near the city of Cadale, about 150 miles northeast of the capital of Mogadishu.

The first was on December 14, and AFRICOM said seven al-Shabaab militants were killed. The second strike came three days later and killed eight al-Shabaab militants.

“Al-Shabaab is the largest and most deadly al-Qaeda network in the world and has proven both its will and capability to attack Somali, East African, and American civilians,” AFRICOM said in the statement.

The US has provided ongoing support to the Somali government since President Joe Biden approved in May a Pentagon request to redeploy US troops to the area in an attempt to counter the terrorist group. The approval to send fewer than 500 troops was a reversal of former President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw all US troops from the country in 2020.

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