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US: Airstrikes Kill 37 Al-Shabab Militants in Somalia

FILE - Somali security officers look at the body of a suspected al-Shabab fighter in Mogadishu, Somalia, Nov. 5, 2016. The U.S. military says 37 al-Shabab members were killed in two airstrikes in central Somalia Monday.

The U.S. military says it conducted two airstrikes in central Somalia Monday, killing a total of 37 al-Shabab militants.

A statement issued by the U.S. Africa Command Tuesday said the first strike killed 27 militants. Africa Command described the attack as a “planned and deliberate action."

It says a second strike on the same day killed another 10 Shabab militants. The statement said the airstrikes did not kill or injure civilians.

Local sources tell VOA's Somali Service that the attacks took place in the vicinity of Dabad Shil, about 60 kilometers north of Harardhere, a town in the Mudug region.

Locals told VOA Somali that the strikes targeted al-Shabab vehicles and militias.

In October, another U.S. airstrike in the vicinity of Harardhere killed at least 60 al-Shabab militants.

According to a count by VOA Somali, the U.S. has carried out about 30 airstrikes against al-Shabab this year, killing more than 200 militants.

Al-Shabab, an affiliate of al-Qaida, is trying to overthrow the Somali government and turn Somalia into a strict Islamic state.

U.S. airstrikes have killed numerous al-Shabab leaders over the years, including the group's former emir Ahmed Godane in September 2014.