Suspected U.S. Drone Strike Said to Target Al-Shabaab Camps

An overnight drone strike in Somalia’s southern Lower Shabelle region destroyed al-Shabaab training camps, government officials said Tuesday.

The suspected U.S. attack targeted the Shanta Ameerika area “causing heavy losses” for the militants, Muhidin Ali Aliyow, mayor of a district near the camps, said by phone.

The attack targeted senior al-Shabaab commanders, according to Abdi Ibrahim Shamow, the head of Lower Shabelle region’s police. Neither official gave any figure for casualties.

U.S. drones and Kenyan fighter jets regularly target bases belonging to the al-Qaeda-linked group that opposes Somalia’s government. That, combined with pressure by Somali forces and African Union troops, has worked to weaken the insurgency, especially in the capital, Mogadishu. However, al-Shabaab still stages frequent attacks both in Somalia and neighboring Kenya.

On Tuesday, an armored vehicle belonging to the AU peacekeeping mission was destroyed by a roadside bomb in Mogadishu, police said. The attack was claimed by al-Shabaab, which is fighting to impose a strict version of Islamic law, in Somalia.

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