US says air strikes in Somalia kill six al-Shabaab fighters

The US military’s Africa Command said in a statement it had carried out three air strikes on Wednesday at 2:15 am local time.

FILE: Somalian Flag. Picture: Wikipedia.

WASHINGTON - The United States (US) military said on Wednesday it had carried out air strikes in Somalia against an al-Qaeda-allied Islamist group and killed six militants.

The group, al-Shabaab, is fighting to topple Somalia’s Western-backed transitional federal government and impose its own rule on the Horn of Africa country.

The US military’s Africa Command (AFRICOM) said in a statement it had carried out three air strikes on Wednesday at 2:15 am local time.

“The operation occurred in southern Somalia, about 260 kilometres south of the capital, Mogadishu,” the statement said.

Al-Shabaab has lost control of most of Somalia’s cities and towns since it was pushed out of Mogadishu in 2011. But it retains a strong presence in parts of the south and centre and carries out gun and bomb attacks.