8 killed as US, Somali troops raid on Al Shabaab targets

MOGADISHU, Somalia – U.S. forces have launched a new air and ground operation to oust Al Shabaab militia from towns in south of Somalia.

Somali especial forces were also involved in the operation carried out in Gambole area, some 50km away from Jowhar town.

Jowhar, a town lies some 91km north of Somali capital Mogadishu.

The operation triggered a brief gun battle between the coalition forces and Al Shabaab, according to a witness, who asked to be anonymous.

Somali regional officials said at least 8 militants were killed in air strike after ground offensive.

It is unclear if any US soldier was killed or injured during the operation.

Somali armed group Al Shabaab says its fighters had foiled U.S. troops attempt to attack its base in Gambole on Friday.

The group also denied to have lost some militants in the offensive.

U.S. military carried out 26  air strikes against Al Shabaab this year in Somalia.

The military said it intensified airstrikes in Somalia in efforts to weaken the al-Shabab’s grip on the Horn of Africa nation..