WASHINGTON:(APS)MARCH 7,2016-The Pentagon says a U.S. airstrike in central Somalia has killed more than 150 Al-Shabab militants who were preparing for a large-scale attack.
Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis told reporters Monday that the weekend attack targeted an Al-Shabab training camp about 195 kilometers north of the capital, Mogadishu. He said both manned and unmanned aircraft were used in the strike.
Davis said the U.S. had learned the fighters were set to depart the camp, and “posed an imminent threat” to U.S. and African Union forces in Somalia.
“Initial assessments are that more than 150 terrorist fighters were eliminated” in the attack, said Davis.
Captain Davis says the United States watched the camp for several weeks and noticed the fighters were training for a large-scale attack.
“And they were nearing the completion of that training, and we took action to ensure that they could not put that training to use,” he said.
The Somali army commander in the region, Colonel Mohamed Omar, gave a death toll of 69 militants killed and 42 wounded, citing reports by local residents. Omar added he expects the casualty total to rise.