Several senior Al-Shabaab militants were killed in a drone strike on the outskirts of the coastal city of Kismayo in southern Somalia. A military official who prefers not to be named said several strikes hit an Al-Shabaab base in Berhani, some 60 km south of Kismayo, killing several senior militants. Residents of Berhani said there were huge explosions early hours of Saturday.
“We heard huge explosions and the earth was shaking. We are told Al-Shabaab base was hit by American drones,” a resident said. “The strike hit the base where the militants were meeting leading to several casualties,” the military officer from the Somali National Army said but did not indicate any figures.
There is no official confirmation from the U.S. Africa Command (Africom) yet. Africom, which has been using drones to attack Al-Shabaab and the Islamic State (IS), carried out at least ten strikes in southern and northern Somalia in November. The strike came barely a week after another hit a minivan suspected to be ferrying explosives in Lower Shabelle region.
Somalia’s defense minister Mohamed Ali Haga told journalists on Friday the country needed more U.S. drone strikes to counter the militant groups in the country as African Union forces begin to exit the country this month. “The Somali security sector is still disorganized. And we need more drone strikes because a drone can strike the snake in the head.”