United States drone strike in Somalia against al-Shabab kills several

  • United States drone strike in Somalia against al-Shabab kills several

United States drone strike in Somalia against al-Shabab kills several

A spokeswoman told The Associated Press that no civilians were anywhere near the strike.

According to a statement from U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), the strike occurred about 3 p.m. local time in Somalia in coordination with the Somali government. The location of the target were "100 miles west" (160 kilometres) of the capital, Mogadishu.

The statement came after the Somalia government said its forces killed 81 Al-Shabaab militants during the joint security operation on Saturday in Jilib town in middle Jubba region in southern Somalia.

The state security forces "planted mines in a militant bomb-making site in Jilib district", Abdirahman Omar Osman, the Minister of Information, said by telephone.

Friday's airstrike was the 23rd the US military has carried out this year against the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab and the far smaller Islamic State group in Somalia.

Al-Shabaab was blamed for the October 14 truck bombing in Mogadishu that killed 358 people, and an attack on a hotel on October 29 that left 27 dead.

Earlier this month the USA military carried out its first airstrikes in Somalia against ISIS, which is a small but growing presence in the northern part of the Horn of Africa nation.

The U.S. military confirmed that it conducted the two airstrikes against the Islamist State (IS) and Al-Shabaab militants early Sunday in Somalia, killing "several terrorists". It was Somalia's worst-ever attack and one of the world's deadliest in years. Numerous fighters split off from al-Shabab.

The pan-African body plans to reduce its troops by 1,000 by December, followed by further cuts next year, an exercise expected to end by 2020 as part of its exit strategy.