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US Airstrike Kills 12 al-Shabab Fighters in Somalia

At least 12 al-Shabab militants have been killed in a new airstrike southwest of Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, the U.S. military reported Friday.

The U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) said U.S. forces carried out an airstrike May 31 in support of and in coordination with Somalia's federal government.

"U.S. forces conducted an airstrike targeting al-Shabab militants approximately 30 miles of southwest of Mogadishu, killing 12 terrorists," the command said in a statement.

AFRICOM said its assessments indicated no civilians were killed in the attack. The command said U.S. forces continue to use all authorized appropriate measures to protect U.S. citizens and to disable terrorist threats.

Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants took control of the town of Moqokori of Hiran region in central Somalia. The capture followed a massive attack by militants on Friday afternoon.

Local residents said Somalia government forces stationed in the town engaged in fierce fighting with the militants, but later withdrew to nearby areas.

The U.S. Africa Command says it has carried out 14 airstrikes so far this year against al-Shabab, which continues to hold some rural areas of the Horn of Africa nation.