UPDATE: 20 Al Shabaab killed by strike in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia – A suspected US drone has carried out double air strikes targeting towns held by al Qaeda linked Al Shabaab in south of Somalia.
The strikes were conducted in Bu’ale and Jilib towns, major al Shabaab strongholds in south of Somalia’s Middle Jubba region.
A Somali military official, who asked to be unnamed, says 20 Al Shabaab militants, including senior commanders had been killed in the latest air raids.
It is unclear who carried out the bombing.
There was no immediate comment from Al Shabaab over the claims.
The U.S. military has increased air strikes targeting Al Shabaab held towns.
The military carried out dozens of air raids against al Shabaab, with three of those strikes killed nearly 20 Islamic State fighters for the last two months.
The al Qaeda linked Al Shabaab has carried out similar attacks which left dozens dead in Mogadishu.
The group was driven out of Mogadishu in 2011, but the militants continue to hold small rural areas in central and southern Somalia.
The group wants to overthrow the weak UN-backed government in Somalia and impose its own strict interpretation of Islamic law.
It has lost control of many towns and cities to a 22,000-strong African Union force supporting the government.