10 militants suspected of having links to al-Shabab killed in Somalia
Ten militants suspected of having links to the al-Shabab terrorist group have been killed in a military raid in Somalia, US and Somali officials say.
The offensive targeted a militant-controlled town, west of the capital, Mogadishu.
According to US officials, the operation started overnight Tuesday and continued through Wednesday.
A Somali intelligence official said US forces were backed by Somali government troops during the operation that concentrated on “a high-profile target.”
“It was a high-profile target, and chances of capture were challenged by a stiff resistance by militants guarding the house targeted by the Special Forces, which forced the commandos to resort to the kill or capture method,” media outlets quoted the unnamed Somali official as saying.
Dozens of US Special Forces have been operating in Somalia on a rotational basis for the past few years.
The latest raid comes after more than 150 people were reportedly killed in a US drone attack in Somalia over the weekend. Pentagon spokesman, Captain Jeff Davis, claimed on March 7 that the fatalities occurred two days earlier when the drone carried out the strike on a training camp of al-Shabab, located about 195 kilometers (120 miles) north of Mogadishu.
Washington has been using drones in Somalia and other countries including Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen to target alleged positions of militants.
According to witnesses, the attacks have led to civilian deaths in most cases. Human rights groups also say the US drone strikes have killed many civilians over the past few years in a blatant violation of international law.
Al-Shabab has been driven out of Mogadishu but still controls some rural areas across Somalia.