MOGADISHU, Dec. 21 (Xinhua) -- The United States army said Thursday that it conducted two airstrikes on Wednesday, killing 11 al-Shabab militants outside Somalia's capital.
The U.S. Africa Command (Africom) said in a statement that the two airstrikes targeting al-Shabab militants in the vicinity of Beled Amin South, about 40km north of Mogadishu, were in self-defense.
According to the statement, Somali and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces were conducting an operation in the region to clear known al-Shabab facilities when al-Shabab militants maneuvered on and engaged the combined force.
"U.S. personnel were present during the mission in an advisory capacity. No partner or U.S. service members were harmed during the operation," Africom said, adding that no civilians were injured or killed in the airstrikes.
"We currently assess the first strike killed eight militants and we currently assess the second strike killed three militants," Africom said.
According to the statement, the militant group is using the area around Beled Amin South to plan and execute attacks against Somalia's capital.
The U.S. forces alongside Somali and African Union forces have increased ground and air offensives against the militant group in the past months.