U.S. says air strike in Somalia kills one al Shabaab fighter
MOGADISHU, Sept 8 (Reuters) – The U.S. military said on Friday it had carried out an air strike in Somalia against an al Qaeda-allied Islamist group and killed one militant, the second such strike this week in which a total of four fighters have died.
The group, al Shabaab, is fighting to topple Somalia’s Western-backed transitional federal government and impose its own rule on the Horn of Africa country.
In a statement, the U.S. military’s Africa Command (AFRICOM) said it carried out the air strike on Thursday at 2:45 PM local time (1145 GMT).
“The operation occurred near Baraawe, Somalia, about 270 kilometres southwest of the capital, Mogadishu,” the statement said. It did not say whether the killed fighter was a senior al Shabaab member or a low ranking militant.
On Tuesday U.S. forces also carried out an air strike in Bay region, about 75 kilometres west of Mogadishu, killing three members of al Shabaab.
Al Shabaab has lost control of most of Somalia’s cities and towns since it was pushed out of Mogadishu in 2011. But it retains a strong presence in parts of the south and centre and carries out gun and bomb attacks. (Writing by Elias Biryabarema)