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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

U.S. military kills two al-Shabab militants and injures one other       

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- The U. S. forces on Monday conducted an airstrike against Al-Shabaab militants in southern Somalia, killing two terrorists and injured another, the military said on Tuesday.

The U.S. Africa Command (Africom) said no civilian was killed in the drone strike which was carried out on Monday in coordination with Somalia government in the vicinity of Jilib.

“In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces conducted an airstrike against Al-Shabaab militants on Feb. 26, in the vicinity of Jilib, Somalia, killing two terrorists and wounding one terrorist,” Africom said in a statement.

The militants have recently increased their attacks against Africa Union and Somali forces especially in Mogadishu where they killed at least 32 people and wounded over 50 others in twin blasts last week.

The AMISOM and Somali forces have also increased airstrikes in southern Somalia in the recent past, resulting in the killing of several militants and some defections.

Africom vowed that it will continue to use all authorized and appropriate measures to protect U.S. citizens and to disable terrorist threats.

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U.S. designates 7 groups, 2 individuals as global terrorists

WASHINGTON United States (Xinhua) -- The U.S. State Department on Tuesday said it has designated seven Islamic State (IS)-affiliated groups and two leaders as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs).

Three of the seven groups, namely the IS-West Africa, IS-Philippines and IS-Bangladesh, were also designated as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs). U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them, and their property and interests in property subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked.

In addition, it is a crime to knowingly provide, or attempt or conspire to provide, material support or resources to these organizations.

The other four groups designated as SDGTs were IS-Somalia, Jund al-Khilafah-Tunisia, IS-Egypt, and the Maute Group, and the individuals are Mahad Moalim and Abu Musab al-Barnawi.

Among other consequences, all property and interests in property of the SDGT designees are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with them.

In announcing these designations, U.S. Coordinator for Counterterrorism Nathan A. Sales emphasized that “these designations target key ISIS-affiliated groups and leaders outside its fallen caliphate in Iraq and Syria. Today’s actions are a critical step in degrading ISIS’s global network and denying its affiliates the resources they need to plan and carry out terrorist attacks.”

The State Department also said that the latest designations aim to notify the U.S. public and the international community that these groups and individuals have committed or pose a significant risk of committing acts of terrorism.

“Terrorist designations expose and isolate entities and individuals, and deny them access to the U.S. financial system. Moreover, designations can assist the law enforcement activities of U.S. agencies and other governments,” it added.

These designations were also part of a larger comprehensive plan of the United States to defeat IS in coordination with the Global Coalition.

In addition to designating IS as a FTO and a SDGT, the Department of State has also designated over 40 IS leaders and operatives so far.

U.S. State Department Monday said the United States will host an international conference on mobilizing law enforcement efforts to defeat the Islamic State (IS) on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Participants of the two-day conference are expected to seek to establish a common understanding of “the depth and breadth” of the evolving IS global threat. It will also discuss how to enhance law enforcement and other civilian tools to counter IS.

In addition, the conference will also identify specific actions to help countries disrupt potential attacks, according to the State Department.

The agency said that although the IS has lost nearly all of its former territory in Iraq and Syria, the international community cannot underestimate the evolving threat IS networks and local adherents pose elsewhere. 

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Somalia, AU mission vow to enhance partnership to flush out militants

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- The Somali government and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) vowed Tuesday to enhance partnership in the war against terrorism in the Horn of Africa nation.

Francisco Madeira, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia and Abdi Mohamed Sabriye, Minister of Interior, Federal Affairs and Reconciliation, reiterated their commitment in the fight against Al-Shabaab terrorist group.

“I wanted to reaffirm that AMISOM and the Somali national security forces represented by NISA (intelligence agency), Somali National Army and all other forces by the ministry of defense, ministry of interior and AMISOM are one. All are united in a common purpose which is defeating Al-Shabaab,” Madeira told journalists in Mogadishu.

His remarks came four days after a twin bomb attack in the capital Mogadishu killed at least 32 people.

“Together, much as we expressed regret of what has happened, decided that we have to continue in the common purpose, focused and pursue our objective of stabilizing the country,” Madeira said.

Sabriye stressed that all security forces operating in Somalia had the same goal of defeating Al-Shabaab and must support each other.

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Somalia security forces kill 5 militants

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- At least five Al-Shabaab militants were killed on Tuesday during heavy fighting between the group and Somali National Army (SNA) in Gedo region of southwest Somalia, local authorities said.

Deputy Governor of Gedo region, Sheikh Mohamed Hussein, told reporters that Somali National Army carried out the operation that targeted the militants’ strongholds near Bardhere town in the region.

“Somali National Army killed five Al-Shabaab terrorists and injured several others today. They attempted to resist and fought with SNA forces, but were defeated. Two of our soldiers sustained minor injuries,” Hussein said.

           

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