MOGADISHU, Somalia — A U.S. military airstrike in Somalia has killed an al-Shabab fighter and wounded another, the U.S. Africa Command said Friday, as the fight picks up against Africa’s deadliest Islamic extremist group.
The U.S. statement said the strike was carried out Thursday near Barawe town in southern Somalia’s Lower Shabelle region.
At least one missile struck a location outside Barawe that the extremists often use to launch attacks on the government-held town, a Somali intelligence official said. He declined to give further details. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
Al-Shabab “has cemented its control of southern and central Somalia” and used the area to “plot and direct terror attacks, steal humanitarian aid and to shelter other radical terrorists,” the U.S. statement said.
The U.S. military has carried out several airstrikes against fighters with the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab in the Horn of Africa nation since President Donald Trump approved expanded military operations against the group.
That includes more aggressive airstrikes and considering parts of southern Somalia areas of active hostilities.
Somalia is currently suffering from drought that has displaced hundreds of thousands of people and left more than 3 million people in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. Aid groups have expressed concern about how the fight against al-Shabab affects them.