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US troops in helicopter-borne raid in Somalia

By Tajuddin
In Local News
Mar 9th, 2016
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US military helicopters

US military helicopters

Washington (AFP + DIPLOMAT.SO) – US troops took part in a helicopter-borne special forces raid against Al Shabaab insurgents in Awdheegle district , Lower Shabelle province in Southern Somalia, a US official said Wednesday.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, described the operation overnight Tuesday to Wednesday as a “US partnered raid” with US troops accompanying Somali forces.

The raid came just days after a US warplanes and drones killed an estimated 130 Al Shabaab fighters training for a major operation near Bulo Burde District, Hiiraan region in Central Somalia, according to the Pentagon.

Special forces operatives in two helicopters targeted the Shebab-controlled town of Awdheegle, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) west of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, Somali government officials and a Shebab spokesman said.

“We have reports Shebab militants suffered casualties,” local district commissioner Mohamed Aweys told reporters.

It was not immediately clear what the objective was, but helicopter raids in the past have been hostage rescue missions, such as a US commando operation in 2012 to free two aid workers who had been held for three months by the group.

Al Shabaab has stepped up their attacks since the start of the year.

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