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US says airstrike in Somalia kills 13 al-Shabab extremists

JOHANNESBURG — The United States military says it has killed 13 members of the al-Shabab extremist group with an airstrike 30 miles (48 kilometers) outside Somalia’s capital.

A U.S. Africa Command statement says Friday’s strike occurred near Gandarshe in Lower Shabelle region. The statement says the al-Qaida-linked fighters have used Gandarshe as a staging area for bombings in the capital, Mogadishu.

A half-dozen U.S. airstrikes in December killed 62 al-Shabab fighters near Gandarshe as they were preparing to attack a Somali military base.

This is the 10th U.S. airstrike this year in Somalia. It carried out nearly 50 strikes last year in the Horn of Africa nation against al-Shabab, the deadliest Islamic extremist group in Africa.

A strike on Thursday killed 24 al-Shabab fighters in neighboring Hiran region.

By AP

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