20 militants killed in airstrike

MOGADISHU. — Some 20 Al-Shabaab fighters were killed and scores injured on Tuesday night in a helicopter raid in Awdhiigle town of Lower Shabelle region, southern Somalia.

Awdhiigle mayor Mohamed Aweys said yesterday the airstrike by foreign forces targeted the Al-Shabaab militants in the area.

“This operation carried out with three warplanes and infantry also took part the operation which went on for about 30 minutes,” Aweys told reporters.

The mayor said 20 Al-Shabaab fighters were killed in the airstrike.

“Eleven of their dead bodies were (found) in an area outside the town, four others were in another spot while they (Al-Shabaab) took the rest,” Aweys said.

“There were huge explosions on Tuesday night even the land was shaking. It was not only airstrike, but also infantry took part the battle. We could hear as the two sides exchanged heavy gun fire,” said a local resident who requested anonymity.

The Al-Qaeda allied Al-Shabaab confirmed the air raid by foreign warplanes, but said they “foiled the attack”.

This is the second deadliest attack against Al-Shabaab in the week.

The Pentagon confirmed early this week that its security forces carried out an airstrike in central Somalia over the weekend, killing more than 150 Al-Shabaab fighters. — Xinhua.

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