CBSN

U.S. says airstrike targeting al-Shabaab killed about 60 fighters in Somalia

A U.S. airstrike targeting al-Shabaab militants in Somalia killed about 60 fighters, according to U.S. Africa Command. The airstrike, conducted Friday, was the largest against the al Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab in nearly a year, when U.S. forces killed about 100 extremists in an attack on one of their camps.

U.S. Africa Command said in a statement Tuesday it assesses no civilians were injured or killed in Friday's airstrike, which took place in the vicinity of Harardere, in central Somalia.

The airstrike came just days before the one-year anniversary of al-Shabaab's deadliest attack -- a truck bombing in Somalia's capital that killed more than 500 people. 

"Airstrikes reduce al-Shabaab's ability to plot future attacks, disrupt its leadership networks, and degrade its freedom of maneuver within the region," U.S. Africa Command said in its statement.

The number of U.S. airstrikes in Somalia has risen sharply since under Donald Trump's presidency, according to the Council on Foreign Relations. The U.S. seeks to stop the country from becoming a place where terror groups can plot attacks against the U.S. and destabilize the Horn of Africa, the think tank says