'Several terrorists killed' as US launches first air strikes on IS in Somalia

The US military has for the first time conducted air strikes against Islamic State fighters in Somalia, where the group is a growing presence in a country long threatened by the al Qaida-linked extremist group al-Shabab.

The US Africa Command said two drone strikes killed "several terrorists" in north-eastern Somalia, with the first around midnight local time and the second later on Friday morning.

The US said the strikes were carried out in co-ordination with Somalia's government.

Local officials confirmed the strikes. At least six missiles struck in Buqa, a remote mountainous village about 35 miles north of Qandala town in the northern state of Puntland, a Somali security official said.

A US bomber. File image.
A US bomber. File image.

The air strike may have targeted senior leaders of the group, the official said.

The mayor of Qandala, Jama Mohamed, said the strikes sent terrified nomadic villagers and their animals fleeing.

The US military has carried out more than a dozen drone strikes against al-Shabab extremists this year after the Trump administration approved expanded efforts against the group.

Al-Shabab has been blamed for carrying out Somalia's deadliest attack last month, a massive truck bombing in the capital, Mogadishu, that killed more than 350 people.

Somalia's president has vowed a "state of war", with neighbours sending in thousands of troops to help the local military and an African Union force.

But IS-linked fighters who have split from the Somalia-based al-Shabab pose a growing threat in Puntland.

In May, IS claimed a deadly bombing in Puntland - said to be the first time the extremist group had claimed an attack in the Horn of Africa nation.

Police said a suicide bomber detonated at a military checkpoint in the commercial hub of Bossaso, killing at least four people.

AP

More on this topic

Ex-girlfriend of footballer jailed for terror fundraisingEx-girlfriend of footballer jailed for terror fundraising

David Lewis and Ryan McNeill: Extremist groups strike gold in Africa’s SahelDavid Lewis and Ryan McNeill: Extremist groups strike gold in Africa’s Sahel

Terror suspect held at Heathrow after Turkey deports British IS suspectTerror suspect held at Heathrow after Turkey deports British IS suspect

Israel kills Islamic Jihad commander in Gaza attackIsrael kills Islamic Jihad commander in Gaza attack


More in this Section

Chimpanzee lip smacks offer new insight into the evolution of human speechChimpanzee lip smacks offer new insight into the evolution of human speech

Police interview witness over Dominic Cummings’ alleged lockdown breachPolice interview witness over Dominic Cummings’ alleged lockdown breach

Widower demands deletion of Donald Trump tweets suggesting his wife was murderedWidower demands deletion of Donald Trump tweets suggesting his wife was murdered

Video shows US officer kneeling on neck of black man who diedVideo shows US officer kneeling on neck of black man who died


Lifestyle

Simple storage solutions for the DIY rookie.8 simple steps to putting up a shelf

Yes, many of us have succumbed to the ‘Covid stone’ and may be trying to lose it but we all need a treat from time to time. Our recipes here incorporate tasty fruits like blueberries, apricots and almonds while Derval’s lime, chocolate and oat biscuits are a delicious and yet healthy sweet treat option.Food and Fun: Take some time out for treats

“Do you know what penguins smell like?” Landscape painter Nicholas Romeril asks, and then laughs at his own question.Nicholas Romeril: Antarctic ice-olation was the perfect training for lockdown

No. Such a small word, but a powerful one.Normal People recap: Bad sex and a sad funeral

More From The Irish Examiner