News / Africa

    US: Airstrike Kills 150 Al-Shabab in Somalia

    FILE - An unmanned U.S. Predator drone is seen in a June 13, 2010, photo.
    FILE - An unmanned U.S. Predator drone is seen in a June 13, 2010, photo.

    The Pentagon says a U.S. airstrike in central Somalia has killed more than 150 Al-Shabab militants who were preparing for a large-scale attack.

    Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis told reporters Monday that the weekend attack targeted an Al-Shabab training camp about 195 kilometers north of the capital, Mogadishu.  He said both manned and unmanned aircraft were used in the strike.

    Davis said the U.S. had learned the fighters were set to depart the camp, and "posed an imminent threat" to U.S. and African Union forces in Somalia.  

    "Initial assessments are that more than 150 terrorist fighters were eliminated" in the attack, said Davis.

    Captain Davis says the United States watched the camp for several weeks and noticed the fighters were training for a large-scale attack.

     "And they were nearing the completion of that training, and we took action to ensure that they could not put that training to use," he said.

    The Somali army commander in the region, Colonel Mohamed Omar, gave a death toll of 69 militants killed and 42 wounded, citing reports by local residents.  Omar added he expects the casualty total to rise.

    Eyewitness accounts

    Witnesses tell VOA's Somali Service that the airstrike hit Al-Shabab's Raso training camp between the villages of Dharyiow and El-Dibi in the central Hiran region.  The witnesses say the aircraft made two passes over the camp, firing three missiles each time.

    According to local villagers, Al-Shabab commanders were at the camp to oversee the graduation of hundreds of trainees when the airstrikes occurred.  There was no immediate word on whether any top Al-Shabab leaders were among those killed.

    Under surveillance

    Somali military officials believe the recruits were being prepared for attacks in Hiran and in Somalia's Middle Shabelle region.  

    The U.S. has a small number of advisers in Somalia assisting the African Union force AMISOM, which is fighting Al-Shabab.   The Islamist militant group has been fighting to overthrow the Somali government since 2007.  

    The U.S. has launched numerous airstrikes against the group, including one that killed the group's longtime leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane, in September 2014.

    VOA Pentagon Correspondent Carla Babb and VOA Somali Service Senior Editor Harun Maruf contributed to this report

     

    You May Like

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: meanbill from: USA
    March 07, 2016 6:02 PM
    Picture it? .. It became a live-fire training exercise after an uninvited guest sent a killer-drone to crash and ruin the al-Shabab terrorists graduation party? .. Do they all still become martyrs and get 72 virgins? .. will mighty Allah still recognize them? .. or will they return as a donkey?

    by: rocket1 from: CT.
    March 07, 2016 5:15 PM
    Congratulations Mr. President and the men and women of the armed forces. Outstanding!!!!!
    In Response

    by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Xamar-Weyne, Somalia
    March 09, 2016 1:20 AM
    I don't see anything to congratulate for.
    Your beloved commander-in-chief opted for cosmetic war instead of serious ground fight. Just throwing drone-bombing from safe distance will never defeat these illiterate fanatic Muslim terrorists.
    It seems America lost interest of decimating all terrorists in this country.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora