Somalia: US self-defense airstrikes killed 11 Al-Shabab Millitants

FILE - Members of Somalia's al- Shabab militant group march on the outskirts of Mogadishu, Somalia, March, 5, 2012.
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JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The U.S. military says it has killed 11 al-Shabab extremists with a pair of airstrikes outside Somalia’s capital.

The U.S. Africa Command statement says Wednesday’s airstrikes were in self-defense after al-Shabab fighters attacked forces with the Somali military and the African Union peacekeeping mission.

The statement says U.S. personnel were present “in an advisory capacity” and that no U.S., Somali or AU member was harmed.

The U.S. says the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab has been using the Beled Amin South area about 40 kilometers (24 miles) northwest of Mogadishu to plan attacks on the capital. The raid was meant to “clear known al-Shabab facilities.”

The U.S. military has sharply increased the number of airstrikes against al-Shabab in Somalia since President Donald Trump took office. This year has seen 47 airstrikes.