U.S. military says kills 6 al-Shabaab militants in dawn raid

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The U.S. military has announced that it carried out three “precision airstrikes” in southern Somalia, killing six members of the al-Shabaab Islamists militant group.

In a statement, the U.S. Africa Command said it conducted the strikes in collaboration with Somali forces early on Wednesday morning, about 260 kilometers south of the capital, Mogadishu.

“In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces conducted three (3) precision airstrikes in Somalia against al-Shabaab on Wed., Sept. 13 at approximately 2:15 a.m. local Somalia time, killing six (6) terrorists,” the statement read.

The U.S. military has increased its crackdown on terrorism in the Horn of Africa since President Donald Trump earlier this year approved expanded military operations against al-Shabaab.

Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi earlier this year announced a pardon for al-Shabaab militants, offering training, employment and education for those who would abandon the extremist cause.

Following that offer, former al-Shabaab deputy commander leader Mukhtar Robow surrendered to government forces.

The government said it hoped Robow’s defection would influence more defections and enable pro-government forces to operate in the regions of Bay and Bakool, thus reducing the insurgents’ operational territory.