Security forces kill 81 terrorists in Somalia

'Several' killed after US airstrike on Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia

On Sunday, a spokeswoman for the US military command in Africa announced that the strikes were carried out over the weekend near Mogadishu, killing several militants.

The strike targeting al-Shabab occurred at approximately 3 p.m. local time in the Bay Region, about 100 miles west of Somalia's capital, Mogadishu.

Unmanned drones were used to carry out the attacks in coordination with Somalia's government.

AFRICOM said in a statement the attack was carried out by USA forces, with the support of Somali National Army (SNA) at Gaduud area, about 250Km miles southwest of Mogadishu at around 4:30 p.m.

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Special Forces attacked the Al-Shabaab camp in Jilib district on Saturday, based in the Middle Jubba region in southern Somalia.

Previously, the military was not allowed to conduct airstrikes against the jihadist group unless the African Union or USA -backed Somali government troops were being attacked. It was Somalia's worst-ever attack and one of the world's deadliest in years. "The U.S. forces subsequently conducted the strike under collective self-defense authorities", it added. Many of its fighters are reported to be former al-Shabab members who switched allegiances.

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.

Somalia's president has vowed a "state of war" against the extremists but concern is growing about that when the African Union force leaves Somalia, the national army will not be able to cope. The AU pullout is set to be complete by the end of 2020.

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