Two al-Shabab militants wounded, camp destroyed in airstrikes

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A group of Nigerian Policemen deployed in Somalia as part of the African Union peacekeeping mission patrol in Beledweyne, Somalia, on December 14, 2019. - The rains have inundated big areas surrounding Beledweyne area forcing thousands of people to leave their houses and look for humanitarian assistance while living in displacement camps. Due to climate change and human activities, cycles of floods and droughts have become more recurrent and completely unpredictable in Somalia exposing hundreds of thousands of people every year to vulnerability and displacement. (Photo by LUIS TATO / AFP)
A group of Nigerian Policemen deployed in Somalia as part of the African Union peacekeeping mission patrol in Beledweyne, Somalia, on December 14, 2019. - The rains have inundated big areas surrounding Beledweyne area forcing thousands of people to leave their houses and look for humanitarian assistance while living in displacement camps. Due to climate change and human activities, cycles of floods and droughts have become more recurrent and completely unpredictable in Somalia exposing hundreds of thousands of people every year to vulnerability and displacement. (Photo by LUIS TATO / AFP)

Somali and U.S. security forces said on Saturday two al-Shabab militants were wounded and their compound destroyed in two airstrikes on Thursday in the southern region.

The U.S. Africa Command (Africom), which oversees American troops on the African continent, said the two airstrikes targeted the militants and their compound in the vicinity of Jilib.

Initial assessments conclude one al-Shabab facility was severely degraded, and two al-Shabab militants were wounded as a result of these two airstrikes, according to an Africom statement issued Saturday.

It said no civilians were injured or killed as a result of these latest airstrikes which have largely targeted al-Shabab figureheads based in southern and central Somalia where the group still maintains a strong grip in some regions.

Bradford Gering, Africom’s deputy director of operations, said airstrikes are one way to help prevent al-Shabab from building a safe haven to plan deadly attacks against the U.S. homeland and east African partners.

Since 2017, the U.S. military has stepped up air raids against al-Shabab which is targeting the African Union and Somali security bases as well as government installations across the country. Enditem

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