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U.S. military carries out first airstrikes against ISIS fighters in Somalia

• https://www.usatoday.com, Associated Press

he U.S. Africa Command said the two drone strikes killed "several terrorists" in northeastern Somalia, with the first around midnight local time and the second later Friday morning. The U.S. said the strikes were carried out in coordination with Somalia's government.

Local officials confirmed the strikes. At least six missiles struck in Buqa, a remote mountainous village roughly 37 miles north of Qandala town in the northern state of Puntland, a Somali security official told The Associated Press.

The airstrike may have targeted top leaders of the group, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

The mayor of Qandala, Jama Mohamed, said the strikes sent terrified nomadic villagers and their animals fleeing.

The U.S. military this year has carried out well over a dozen drone strikes against al-Shabab extremists after the Trump administration approved expanded efforts against the group. Al-Shabab has been blamed for carrying out Somalia's deadliest attack last month, a massive truck bombing in the capital, Mogadishu, that killed more than 350 people. Somalia's president has vowed a "state of war," with neighbors sending in thousands of troops to help the local military and an African Union force.

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