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U.S. airstrike kills nine al-Shabaab militants in Somalia

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- The U.S. military said on Tuesday that its special forces conducted an airstrike in southern Somalia, killing nine al-Shabab terrorists and injured another.

The United States Africa Command (Africom), which oversees American troops on the African continent, said the strike on Monday was conducted in coordination with the Somali government at about 40 km northeast of Kismayo.

“We currently assess nine militants were killed in the strike. One other militant was wounded,” Africom said in a statement.

No civilians were injured or killed in the latest airstrike, the statement said.

Washington has stepped up operations in the Horn of Africa nation in the past year, killing several militants.



AU vows to step up efforts against IED threats

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and international partners wrapped up a meeting in Mogadishu on Wednesday, vowing to reduce threats posed by improvised explosive devices in the country.

The two-day meeting, aimed at devising strategies on countering potential threat from IEDs, also agreed to the formation of multi-stakeholder teams in all AMISOM sectors, which would come up with quick solutions to mitigate rising threats from explosives.

Charles Tai Gituai, AMISOM’s deputy force commander in charge of operations and planning, expressed concern at the increasing incidents of explosions from IEDs.

“The best weapons of course against IEDs is a well-trained soldier who practices correct drills, maintains conscious situational awareness of his environment during the convoy movement, consciousness of the threat, listens to the intuition or the seventh sense, observant, and able to understand and reconcile the fact that this threat is real,” said Gituai, according to a statement issued by the AU mission.

The training of AMISOM troops in the safe disposal of explosive ordnances was bearing fruit, he said, adding that troops are increasingly finding IEDs and successfully proceeding with disposal operations.

The meeting, which was a follow-up to a similar one held in April, discussed specific threats and explored ways of bolstering efforts to reduce them.

Participants agreed to intensify sensitization of local populations on the impact of IEDs, especially along main supply routes.

“This is a threat that is being effectively utilized by the enemy,” said Simon Mulongo, AMISOM’s deputy head of mission. “We must go after it and defeat it.”

Mulongo said arbitrary use of IEDs is inflicting huge damage on civilian populations and the military.

He called for increased focus on eliminating the IED threat, through the development of a clear and effective counter-IED strategy and the use of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems.


EU mission says terror attacks won’t deter support for Somalia

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- The European Union Training Mission in Somalia (EUTM-S) has said Monday’s terror attack on its convoy in which two people were killed and four others injured in Mogadishu will not deter its efforts to stabilize Somalia.

Condemning the latest terror attacks targeting its personnel who were travelling near Jalle Ziyad area, the EUTM-Somalia said such attack shows that Somali civilians pay the highest price from the terrorist threat in the country.

“This attack will not deter the EU’s commitment to support the Somali authorities and people in their efforts to build a more stable and prosperous future,” the mission said in a statement issued on Monday night.

At least two people were killed and four others injured when a suicide car bomb ripped through a EUTM-Somalia convoy near Somali’s defense ministry in Mogadishu on Monday.

The EU mission confirmed the attack on Italian troops, saying none of its personnel were hurt and that the convoy returned safely.

“No personnel of EUTM-S were injured and the convoy returned safely. No shots were fired by EUTM-S neither during nor after the blast,” it said, expressing condolences to the families of those affected.

Militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the latest attack, saying the car rammed into a convoy carrying Italian military advisers and trainers operating under the EUTM-S. 



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