The U.S. military said Monday its forces killed 10 al-Shabaab terrorists in two self-defense airstrikes hours after the militants attacked its base in southern Somalia.
The U.S. Africa Command confirmed that no U.S. or partner force personnel were injured after al-Shabaab militants conducted a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) attack at Baledogle military airfield (BMA) complex in Baledogle, about 110kms northwest of Mogadishu.
“In response to this attack and in self-defense, U.S Africa Command conducted two airstrikes and used small arms fire targeting al-Shabaab terrorists. It is assessed U.S. and partner forces killed ten terrorists and destroyed one vehicle involved in the attack,” it said in a statement.
The militant group which has been fighting to overthrow the Western-backed government claimed responsibility for Monday’s attack in the Lower Shabelle region.
The armed group said its fighters stormed the base after using a car bomb to blast through its gates but this was denied by the U.S. mission in Somalia which said the attack was foiled.
“This attack, though ineffective, demonstrates the direct threat al-Shabaab poses to Americans, our allies, and interests in the region,” said William Gayler, U.S. Africa Command director of operations.
Gayler said the terror incidents like this will not compromise the pressure being placed on this terrorist network by the Somali government and international partners.
The U.S. military said no civilians were injured or killed as a result of the Monday attack and airstrike.
The U.S. strikes have largely targeted al-Shabaab figureheads based in southern and central Somalia where the group still maintains a strong grip in some regions.
The extremists have recently increased their attacks against African Union and Somali forces especially in Mogadishu targeting their bases, hotels and other public places.