American forces killed 27 Al-Shabaab fighters in an airstrike on September 18 as they battled Somalia government troops, the US military said Wednesday.

The strike was carried out near Bulobarde as the Somali National Army and African Union Transition Mission continued an operation to disrupt Al-Shabaab jihadist forces in the Hiran region of central Somalia, the US Africa Command said in a statement.

“The command’s initial assessment is that the strike killed 27 Al-Shabaab terrorists and that no civilians were injured,” it said, calling it a “defensive strike.”

“Violent extremist organizations like Al-Shabaab present long-term threats to Somali, regional and US interests,” it said.

The Africa Command called the ongoing offensive the largest in five years carried out by the Somali National Army and African Union Transition Mission.

It said the US airstrike was carried out “at the request” of the Somali government.


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