US air strike kills 13 ISIS terrorists in Somalia

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A US air strike killed 13 ISIS terrorists in Somalia’s semi-autonomous Puntland region on Wednesday, the US military said, days after another strike killed three.

The US military has stepped up its campaign of air strikes in Somalia since President Donald Trump took office, saying it has killed more than 800 militants in two years.

ISIS has gathered recruits in Puntland although experts say the scale of its force is unclear and it remains a small player compared to Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab group that once controlled much of Somalia.

US Africa Command (AFRICOM) said late on Thursday the latest strike targeted an ISIS-Somalia camp in the Golis Mountains. “At this time, it is assessed the air strike on May 8 killed 13 terrorists,” it said.

AFRICOM said in April it had killed Abdulhakim Dhuqubz identifying him as ISIS deputy leader in Somalia.

Somalia has been mired in a civil war and an Islamist insurgency since 1991 when clan warlords overthrew a dictator and then turned on each other.

Al-Shabaab was pushed out of the capital Mogadishu in 2011, but retains a strong presence in parts of southern and central Somalia and has often clashed with ISIS.

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