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US says new airstrike in Somalia kills 8 al-Shabaab.

The U.S. military says it has killed eight members of the al-Shabab extremist group with an airstrike south of Somalia’s capital.

The U.S. Africa Command statement says the airstrike occurred on Saturday near Gandarshe, a coastal community. The statement says no civilians were involved.

The U.S. military has carried out at least 40 airstrikes this year against the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab, Africa’s most active Islamic extremist group.

It controls parts of rural southern and central Somalia and continues to stage deadly attacks in the capital, Mogadishu, and other cities.

The U.S. airstrikes have picked up dramatically since President Donald Trump took office and approved expanded military operations in the Horn of Africa nation.

Airstrikes also target a small presence of fighters linked to the Islamic State group.

American forces have been back operating in Somalia for more than a decade. Since 2007, Al-Shabaab has been fighting to overthrow the internationally backed government in Somalia.

Somalia, which borders restive Kenya and lies across the Gulf of Aden from conflict-wracked Yemen, began to fall apart in 1991, when warlords ousted dictator Siad Barre and then turned on each other.

Years of conflict and attacks by al-Shabab, along with famine, shattered the country of some 12 million people. It has been trying to rebuild since establishing its first functioning transitional government in 2012.

Al-Shabab, which is fighting to impose Shariah law across Somalia, was pushed out of the capital, Mogadishu, and other major urban cities more than two years ago. But the extremist group still carries out suicide attacks across Somalia.

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