Somalia’s al-Shabaab confirms US strike, says casualties exaggerated

File photo of Al Shabaab militants parading new recruits after arriving in Mogadishu. (Reuters)

Somali extremist group al-Shabaab confirmed on Tuesday that the United States had bombed an area it controlled, but said the US figure of more than 150 casualties was an exaggeration.

The Pentagon had said it launched air strikes on a training facility on Saturday that had killed 150 fighters with the al-Qaeda-linked group in the Horn of Africa nation.

“The US bombed an area controlled by al-Shabaab. But they exaggerated the figure of casualties. We never gather 100 fighters in one spot for security reasons. We know the sky is full of planes,” the group’s military spokesman Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab told Reuters. He did not give a casualty figure.

The United States launched an air strike in Somalia that it said killed more than 150 a;-Shabaab fighters with the al Qaeda-linked group al-Shabaab following intelligence on preparations for a large-scale militant attack, the Pentagon said on Monday.

The Saturday strike, using both manned aircraft and unmanned MQ-9 Reaper drones, targeted al-Shabaab’s “Raso” training camp, a facility about 120 miles north of the capital Mogadishu, the Pentagon said.

The US military had been monitoring the camp for several weeks before the strike and had gathered intelligence, including about an imminent threat posed by those in the camp to US forces and African Union peacekeepers, officials said.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:46 - GMT 06:46