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US announces the death of 27 suspected Al Shabaab members in a bombing in Somalia

News 360 logo News 360 9/22/2022 Daniel Stewart
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The U.S. Army has announced the death of 27 suspected members of the Al Shabaab terrorist group in a bombing raid carried out on Tuesday in support of security forces in Somalia around the town of Bulobarde (center).

"At the request of the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) conducted a bombing raid against Al Shabaab terrorists who attacked Somali Army forces near Bulobarde on September 18," AFRICOM said in a statement.

It stressed that "initial estimates" point to the death of 27 terrorists and added that "no civilians were injured". "U.S. forces are authorized to conduct bombing in defense of designated partner forces," he explained.

"The defensive bombing enabled the Somali Army and African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) forces to regain the initiative and continue the operation against Al Shabaab in the Hiiraan region of central Somalia," he stressed.

In this sense, he pointed out that these operations represent "the largest combined offensive" in the last five years and reiterated that "violent extremist organizations such as Al Shabaab pose a long-term threat to Somali, regional and US interests".

"The United States will continue to support Somali and ATMIS partners in defeating Al Shabaab terrorists, who threaten peace and stability in Somalia," AFRICOM concluded in its statement.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin last week conveyed to Somali President Hassan Shaykh Mohamud Washington's "commitment" to "countering violent extremism" and applauded the Somali president's "leadership" in "energizing Somali security forces and acting proactively with the United States and international partners."

U.S. President Joe Biden approved in mid-May a Defense Department request to send U.S. troops back to Somalia to fight terrorist groups, reversing his predecessor Donald Trump's order to leave the African country in 2020.

Somalia is facing an increase in the number of attacks by the Islamist militia Al Shabaab, linked to the terrorist organization Al Qaeda, both in the capital and in other areas in the south of the country, which has led the president to promise a reinforcement of security operations to deal with the threat.

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