The U.S. military says it carried out its deadliest airstrike in Somalia in months on Saturday, killing 52 al-Shabab extremists after a “large group” mounted an attack on Somali forces. A Somali intelligence officer said al-Shabab had been amassing fighters for more than a week to launch a major attack against Somali and Kenyan forces in order to disrupt a planned offensive against the extremists. The airstrike occurred near Jilib in Middle Juba region, the U.S. Africa Command said. There were no reports of Americans killed or wounded. The U.S. statement did not say whether any Somali forces were killed or wounded by the al-Qaida-linked extremists. Al-Shabab via its Shahada news agency asserted that its attack on two Somali army bases killed at least 41 soldiers. It described the location as the Bar Sanjuni area near the port city of Kismayo. There has been no immediate comment from Somalia’s government.
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