US airstrikes in Somalia kill 15 al-Shabaab militants

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At least 15 al-Shabaab militants were killed in separate U.S. airstrikes in Somalia's Lower Shabelle region, the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) said Friday.

The airstrikes were conducted over the past 48 hours against the al-Qaeda linked group's positions in Gendershe village and Bariire town, it said in a statement.

It said the first airstrike took place on Feb. 6 in Gendershe, killing 11 militants, while the second airstrike on Feb. 7 in Bariire killed four militants.

The statement added that the airstrike on Bariire came after the Somali National Army was attacked by al-Shabaab militants as they conducted an operation to disrupt the group's efforts to illegally tax and intimidate civilians in the area.

Adow Mohamed, a Somali National Army captain in the Lower Shabelle region, confirmed the airstrikes to Anadolu Agency by phone.

The airstrikes were the latest by the U.S. over the past eight days, which have killed at least 50 al-Shabaab militants.

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