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  Somalia Shebab disputes US airstrike ‘martyrs’ toll

Somalia Shebab disputes US airstrike ‘martyrs’ toll

AFP
Published : Mar 9, 2016, 1:50 am IST
Updated : Mar 9, 2016, 1:50 am IST

Somalia’s Shebab insurgents said on Tuesday that “several” fighters had been killed in a US airstrike on their training camp, but disputed Washington’s claims that 150 were killed.

Somalia’s Shebab insurgents said on Tuesday that “several” fighters had been killed in a US airstrike on their training camp, but disputed Washington’s claims that 150 were killed.

“The enemy fired several missiles during the evening and there are several martyred mujahedeen members”, said senior Shebab commander Sheik Ibrahim Abu-Ahmed, but he added that the US military’s toll was “completely false.”

While the US military regularly conducts operations targeting the Al Qaeda-linked fighters in Somalia, Saturday’s raid had a higher toll than all previous such US strikes combined. Warplanes and unmanned drones were used in the strike, about 195 km north of Mogadishu.

The Shebab, which responded to Saturday’s strike by rounding up and arresting locals, according to witnesses, said it would not be cowed by the strikes.

“It is not new that the enemy carries out such cowardly organised attacks from the sky but it only takes us close to God — it is already the will of the mujahedeen fighters to be killed and win martyrdom,” Abu-Ahmed said.

Nearby residents, close to Saturday’s attack in central Somalia’s Hiiraan region, reported hearing missiles strike the camp.

Location: Somalia, Banaadir, Mogadishu