, WASHINGTON, United States, Apr 12 – A pair of drone strikes in southern Somalia this week killed about a dozen Shabaab militants who were threatening US and Somali forces, a US official said Tuesday.
The “self-defense strikes” were conducted Monday and Tuesday in an area north of Kismayu, Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis said.
“This was in southern Somalia against al-Shabaab targets that were posing an imminent threat to US (and Somali) personnel,” he said.
“We think about 12 militants were killed,” he added.
Calls seeking additional details from the US military’s Africa Command were not immediately returned.
The Al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab group was chased out of the capital Mogadishu in 2011 but remains a dangerous threat in both Somalia and neighboring Kenya where it carries out frequent attacks.
Shabaab leaders have vowed to bring down the Somali government, which is supported by the international community and defended by the African Union’s 22,000-strong AMISOM mission.
At least five people including two children were killed Monday in a car bomb blast outside government offices in Mogadishu.
The Pentagon last week confirmed that senior Shabaab leader Hassan Ai Dhoore was killed in a drone strike.