US Africa Command (AFRICOM) announced that it targeted al Qaeda’s branch in East Africa in the central province of Mudug twice yesterday. The US military is clearly targeting Shabaab in the province. There have been five strikes there in the past four days and 50 Shabaab fighters are reported to have been killed in the attacks.
In the first strike, AFRICOM said it killed six Shabaab fighters. No Shabaab fighters were killed in the second strike; a “weapons cache” was targeted. Both operations took place “near Haradere,” a town in the southern part of Mudug.
AFRICOM launched three more strikes in Mudug over the past several days. On Nov. 19, AFRICOM claimed it killed 37 Shabaab fighters in a pair of attacks near Debatscile. AFRICOM also said it killed seven more Shabaab fighters on Nov. 20 near Qeycad. [See LWJ report, US military kills dozens of Shabaab fighters in 3 strikes.]
As noted yesterday, Shabaab is clearly active in Muduq. AFRICOM likely has identified a threat and is targeting the group in an attempt to thwart the danger.
The United States has conducted 35 strikes against Shabaab so far in 2018, already eclipsing last year’s total of 31.