MOGADISHU, Somalia – Somali military says US military has carried out deadly air strikes targeting Al Shabaab near major rebel stronghold south of Somalia.
Radio Risaala, quoting a military official, who asked to be anonymous, reported 16 al Qaeda linked Al Shabaab fighters were killed in double air strike carried out near Jilib town, a major rebel held town.
He says the first strike targeted a vehicle carrying group’s chief of Intelligence Unit in charge of Mogadishu, Kahlid Aboukar Hassan while the second raid killed 16 other militants.
The U.S. military carried out dozens of air strikes against Al Shabaab in this year, while two of those raids also killed four Islamist State militants in north of Somalia.
There was no immediate comment from Al Shabaab over the claims.
Al-Shabab, an al-Qaeda-linked group, has been fighting for more than ten years in 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.
But the group still has a strong presence in many rural areas.