81 Al-Shabaab fighters killed in Jilib, Somalia

Somalia’s security forces conducted a military operation killing 81 Al-Shabaab fighters, the Somali Minister of Information confirmed.

Special Forces attacked the Al-Shabaab camp in Jilib district on Saturday, based in the Middle Jubba region in southern Somalia. According to Information Minister Abdirahman Osman, Al-Shabaab were “regrouping to launch attacks” at Gedo region.

Apache helicopters pounded the camp destroying several weapons and military vehicles.

Somali Security forces conducted special operation in Jilib district and destroyed Al-Shabaab camp where terrorists were regrouping to launch attacks at Gedo region area – 81 of militants were killed, number of vehicles & heavy weapons destroyed. #Somalia is for Somalis

An Al-Shabaab spokesman claimed no such strike took place. “There was no any attack on Jilib and no fighter was killed, the minister’s claims are false and baseless,” Sheikh Abdulaziz Abu Musab told Andalus, a Somali-based radio channel, Garowe Online reported.

It is unclear if there were any civilian casualties on the ground and whether the United States participated in the operation.

In a separate attack, the United States Africa Command said in a statement: “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, US forces conducted an airstrike in Somalia against Al-Shabaab on Saturday, November 11 at approximately 4:30pm local Somalia time, killing one enemy combatant.”

“The operation occurred near Gaduud, about 250 miles southwest of the capital, Mogadishu,” the statement read.

The Al-Shabaab fighter was engaging a US and Somali convoy at the time of the strike, it explained.

Al-Shabaab pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda in 2012, which has attracted US counter-terrorism operations in the country.