US troops join in Somali raid

2016-03-09 20:15
File: US soldiers stand near a Sea Dragon helicopter.  (Marwani Naamani, AFP)

File: US soldiers stand near a Sea Dragon helicopter. (Marwani Naamani, AFP)

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Washington - US troops took part in a helicopter-borne special forces raid against Shabaab insurgents in Somalia, a US official said on Wednesday.

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

The raid came just days after a US aircraft and drones killed an estimated 130 Shabaab fighters training for a major operation, according to the Pentagon.

Special forces operatives in two helicopters targeted the Shabaab-controlled town of Awdhegele, about 50km west of Somalia's capital Mogadishu, Somali government officials and a Shabaab spokesperson said.

"We have reports Shabaab 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.

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

Read more on:    shabaab  |  somalia  |  us  |  east africa

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