The United States military has confirmed the death of four “terrorists” in airstrikes against the Al-Shabaab militant group in Somalia on Sunday, a day after the country’s deadliest attack in two years.
US Africa Command (AFRICOM) conducted three airstrikes in two locations in the conflict-hit east African nation on Sunday targeting Al-Shabaab militants, it said in a statement.
“These precision airstrikes targeted Al-Shabaab militants responsible for terrorist acts against innocent Somali citizens and coordinating with Al-Qaeda,” AFRICOM said.
“The US and the federal government of Somalia will continue to increase pressure on the terrorist organisation in order to deny them the ability to plot terrorist attacks.”
Two militants were killed in the strike and two vehicles destroyed in Qunyo Barrow while a separate strike killed another two in Caliyoow Barrow, according to AFRICOM, which regularly carries out airstrikes in Somalia.
They followed a massive car bomb explosion in a busy area of Mogadishu on Saturday that left at least 79 people dead and scores injured.
At least 16 of those killed were students from the capital’s private Banadir University, who had been traveling on a bus when the car bomb detonated at a busy intersection southwest of the Somali capital.
Scores of wounded were carried on stretchers from the site, where the force of the explosion left the charred and twisted remains of vehicles.
Two Turkish nationals were also killed, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.
The attack has not been claimed, but Mogadishu is regularly hit by car bombings and attacks waged by the Al-Shabaab Islamist militants, who have fought for more than a decade to topple the Somali government.