By Magdalene Mukami
MOGADISHU, Somalia (AA) – Three leaders of the Al-Shabaab terrorist group in charge of improvised explosives, which have claimed the lives of dozens in Somalia, were killed Tuesday in US airstrikes.
The US Africa Command said that together with the Somali government, they conducted the two airstrikes on Jan. 19 the vicinities of Jamaame and Deb Scinnele.
“These strikes targeted known al-Shabaab leaders involved in IED [Improvised Explosive Device] facilitation, fighter training and attack planning,” said US Air Force Maj. Gen. Dagvin Anderson, commander of Joint Task Force-Quartz.
“Striking these leaders disrupts al-Shabaab’s ability to attack our partners and indiscriminately kill innocent civilians with improvised explosive devices. We are working closely with our Somali partners to support their operations against al-Shabaab, protect their people and provide governance.”
Somalia’s Ministry of information noted that no civilians were killed or injured during the attacks.
In a statement, the ministry said that “through this cooperation, the federal government of Somalia aims to rid Somalia of al-Shabaab and to provide a better future for the Somali people.”
Action on Armed Violence (AOAV), a UK-based research institute that has followed explosive device attacks used in Somalia for decades, recently released a report on explosive violence, which is on the rise in Somalia. The report said that 93% of the civilian deaths in Somalia in 2019 were caused by explosive devices used in populated areas and IEDs caused 73% of civilian deaths.
The report warned of increased explosive attacks by the Somali militant group in the country, a trend which was not there in Somalia in the past.