Somali army ‘kills 17 militants’

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Seventeen Islamist militants have been killed during security operations in Somalia, the country’s army says.

The army’s commander, Gen Odawaa Yusuf Raage, told state media that 15 al-Shabab fighters were killed in the southern Lower Juba region and two more were killed in the central Hiran region.

He added that an al-Shabab commander, Ibrahim Abdi Ture’y, was killed in the operation in the Hiran region. He was reportedly an expert in assembling explosive devices.

The Somali army and allied forces often carry out operations against al-Qaeda-allied al-Shabab fighters, who control rural areas of south and central Somalia.

The group has been waging an insurgency in Somalia for more than 10 years.

Separately, on Wednesday, the US Africa Command said it had killed two al-Shabab fighters in an air strike in the Lower Juba region.

US President Donald Trump expanded military operations against al-Shabab in March 2017.