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Monday, May 19, 2014

Airstrike hits Al-Shabaab site in Somalia

Airstrike hits Al-Shabaab site in Somalia

An unidentified jet fighter struck on Sunday a training camp for Somalia's Al-Shabaab rebel group in the southern Lower Juba region, an eyewitness said.

Three vehicles have been destroyed by the airstrike, according to eyewitness Abdi Hussein who said the camp lies in a town two kilometers away from Lower Juba's capital Kismayo.

He went on to say that the camp was vacant at the time of the attack. Though, he added, some Al-Shabaab rebels arrived following the strike and cordoned off the camp's perimeter.

Information on possible casualties could not be immediately available.

Somali authorities are yet to comment on the attack.

Airstrikes on Al-Shabaab sites are not uncommon in Somalia's southern regions, much of which remains in the grip of the Al-Qaeda inspired group.

In January, a U.S. airstrike hit by a car reportedly carrying a senior member of the group in the southern Lower Shabelle region.

Last year, Kenyan warfighters staged a series of airstrikes on the group in the same area in which Sunday's strike took place.

The Somalia-based Al-Shabaab group emerged in 2004 as an ideological offshoot of Al-Qaeda.

Since late 2011, Al-Shabaab has stepped up attacks in neighboring Kenya after Nairobi deployed troops to help the Mogadishu government hunt down group members.

Somalia, a long-troubled Horn of Africa country, has been in the grip of political violence since the outbreak of civil war in 1991.

The battered country had appeared to inch closer to stability with the recent installation of a new government and the intervention of African Union troops – led by Kenya - tasked with combatting Al-Shabaab.

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