Somali, U.S. forces kill 1 al-Shabab militant Featured

MOGADISHU-- Somali and U.S. forces killed one al-Shabab militant in an airstrike on the al-Shabab militants' stronghold in the southern region on Sunday, said the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM).

The joint military operation was conducted near Jilib, about 320 km southwest of Mogadishu, AFRICOM added.

"Initial assessment concluded the airstrike killed one terrorist. We currently assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike," said the U.S. army in a statement.

The removal of even one terrorist will make East Africa and the United States safer since al-Shabab sought to advance its jihadist agenda in the region, said William Gayler, AFRICOM's director of operations.

The latest airstrike came after the Somali government vowed to intensify military operations against al-Shabab militants.

The operations, carried out by Somali forces in coordination with troops from the African Union (AU) and the United States, highlighted the growing capacity of government security forces to protect national security, said Somali government spokesman Ismael Mukhtar Omar.

Since 2017, the AU, Somali and U.S. forces have been engaged in stepped-up air and ground military raids against al-Shabab, which has been trying to overthrow the internationally-backed Somali government.