The United States military has confirmed that five Al-Shabaab militants were killed and six others injured during a joint raid last week at a school run by Al-Shabaab that rescued 35 children.
The U.S. Africa Command, which oversees American troops on the continent, said some of the terrorists killed in the raid conducted by U.S. and Somalia forces on Jan. 19 in Middle Shabelle region appear to have been under the age of 18.
“During the mission, the Somali National Security Forces received hostile fire. The Somali forces returned fire in self-defense. In the ensuing firefight, five enemy combatants were killed and six were wounded,” Africom said in a statement issued on Wednesday night.
“The U.S. personnel were in an advisory capacity, and did not fire their weapons,” Africom said of the raid which resulted in the recovery of 35 male children from an Al-Shabaab indoctrination center.
The U.S. military said it supports the Horn of Africa nation government and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF)’s efforts to reunite these children with their families.
The U.S. forces alongside Somali and African Union forces have increased ground and air offensives against the militant group Al-Shabaab in the last few months.