Fri, 26 Apr 2019

Washington DC [USA], Jan 20 (ANI): The US on Saturday said that more than 50 al-Shabaab terrorists were killed in an airstrike near Jilib, Middle Juba Region of Somalia.

The al-Shabaab is a Somali-based terror group that is affiliated to al-Qaeda.

The US Africa Command, that oversees the country's military operations on the continent, said that the airstrike was conducted "in response to an attack by a large group of al-Shabaab militants against Somali National Army Forces" on January 19, CNN reported.

The military command stated that the airstrike killed 52 terrorists and no civilians died or injured in the airstrike.

The number of airstrikes have risen ever since US President Donald Trump in March 2017 directed the military forces to conduct precision strikes targeting al-Shabaab in an effort to support the Somali government in its fight against terrorism. Before the decision was made, the US military conducted airstrikes only in self-defence of advisers on the ground, as per the report.

The al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for a terror attack at a luxurious hotel complex in Nairobi on January 15 that claimed 21 lives.

Between 2016 to 2018, the US military carried out 97 precision airstrikes against the terror group.

There are around 3,000 to 7,000 al-Shabaab terrorists and about 70 to 250 Islamic State terrorists in Somalia as of August 2018, according to a data by the US Department of Defence.

About 500 US troops are stationed in the East African nation, primarily in advisory roles. (ANI)

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