Deadly US air strike in Puntland

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A US air strike killed 13 Islamic State fighters in Somalia’s semi-autonomous Puntland region the US military said days after a previous strike killed three.

The US military stepped up its campaign of air strikes in Somalia since President Donald Trump took office, saying it has killed more than 800 militants in two years.

Islamic State, also known as ISIS, gathered recruits in Puntland, although experts say the scale of its force is unclear and it remains a small player compared al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab group that once controlled much of Somalia.

US Africa Command (AFRICOM) said the latest strike targeted an ISIS-Somalia camp in Golis Mountains.

“At this time, it is assessed the air strike on May 8 killed 13 terrorists,” it said.

AFRICOM said in April it killed Abdulhakim Dhuqub, identifying him as Islamic State’s deputy leader in Somalia.