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62 Al Shabaab terrorists killed by US airstrikes in recent attacks

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 17- Some 62 Al-Shabaab militants have been killed in Somalia during 6 air strikes by the United States forces.

The airstrikes that were launched between Friday and Saturday last week targeted the militants within the vicinity of Gandarshe.

The first airstrikes claimed the lives of 34 militants while 28 others were killed on Saturday according to a statement issued by the Germany based US-Africa Command.

“Alongside our Somali and international partners, we are committed to preventing al-Shabaab from taking advantage of safe havens from which they can build capacity and attack the people of Somalia. In particular, the group uses portions of southern and central Somalia to plot and direct terror attacks, steal humanitarian aid, extort the local populace to fund its operations, and shelter radical terrorists,” the US-Africa command said in a statement.

In the past, the US forces have been accused of killing civilians during such airstrikes, but none was killed according to a preliminary assessment, the Command says.

Together with other AMISOM forces, the US said it conducted the airstrikes to prevent terrorists from using remote areas as a safe haven to plot, direct, inspire, and recruit for future attacks in Somalia and the region.

Similar attacks killed 44 militants in November.

On October 16, an airstrike left 60 dead in Central Somalia. This was the deadliest attack since November 2017 when 100 terrorists were killed.

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In the past, the US forces have been accused of killing civilians during the air strikes.

Since 2007, Al Shabaab has fought to overthrow successive internationally-backed governments in Mogadishu.

It was in 2011 that the Al-Qaeda affiliated group was pushed out of Mogadishu, the Somali capital and subsequently from other key towns including the port city of Kismayu.

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