US raids killed 40 mil­i­tants in So­ma­lia: Pen­tagon

The Gulf Today - - 8 -

WASHINGTON: The Pen­tagon said on Mon­day that US forces had killed 40 Shabaab and Daesh ighters in a se­ries of strikes on So­ma­lia that be­gan late last week.

The US mil­i­tary has launched ive strikes since Thurs­day on ji­hadist po­si­tions in the Horn of Africa coun­try, killing 36 mem­bers of the Al Qaeda afil­i­ated Shabaab group and four from the Daesh group, said Colonel Rob Man­ning, a spokesman.

“In co-or­di­na­tion with the fed­eral gov­ern­ment of So­ma­lia, US forces con­ducted ive airstrikes in So­ma­lia against Shabaab and Daesh, from Nov.9 to Nov.12, re­mov­ing more than 40 ter­ror­ists from the bat­tleield,” Man­ning said.

The strikes were car­ried out by the US Africa Com­mand, and fol­lowed two dev­as­tat­ing at­tacks at­trib­uted to mil­i­tants in Mo­gadishu that left about 385 peo­ple dead last month.

The surge in US oper­a­tions came af­ter Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump in March loos­ened the con­straints on the US mil­i­tary to take ac­tions against al­leged ter­ror­ists when they judge it is needed, with­out seek­ing speciic White House ap­proval.

A pair of US drone strikes that killed sev­eral mil­i­tants on Novem­ber 3 marked the irst time Amer­i­can forces hit Daesh group ighters in So­ma­lia.

SOMALILAND POLLS

In an un­re­alted de­vel­op­ment, ofi­cials in the self-pro­claimed state of Somaliland counted votes from a pres­i­den­tial elec­tion on Tues­day, with a so­cial me­dia black­out ex­pected to last sev­eral days un­til re­sults are an­nounced.

The north­ern ter­ri­tory, which de­clared in­de­pen­dence from the rest of So­ma­lia in 1991, hopes its third pres­i­den­tial elec­tion will bol­ster its demo­cratic cre­den­tials and strengthen the case for in­de­pen­dence from its trou­bled neigh­bour.

The count­ing process “may take a cou­ple of days be­fore it in­ishes and the re­sult is an­nounced, it can be be­tween 16th and 18th of this month,” said elec­tion com­mis­sion chair­man Ab­dikadir Iman Warsame.

No in­ci­dents of vi­o­lence, un­rest or dis­rup­tion were re­ported dur­ing the day’s vot­ing on Mon­day.

Three can­di­dates are vy­ing for the state’s top ofice: sea­soned politi­cians Muse Bihi of the rul­ing Kul­miye party and op­po­si­tion lead­ers Ab­di­rah­man Iro and Faysal Ali Warabe, who was de­feated in a pre­vi­ous elec­tion in 2010.

In­cum­ben­tahmed­mo­hamudsi­laanyo is not seek­ing re-elec­tion.

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