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US airstrike kills Somalia fighter under new Trump authority

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A U.S. drone strike in Somalia has targeted a key leader of the al-Shabab militant group, the Pentagon said. (AP Photo/Mohamed Sheikh Nor, File)

A U.S. airstrike killed a fighter belonging to the al-Shabaab Mogadishu Attack Network in Somalia on Saturday, in the latest use of expanded military authority approved by President Trump.

The strike, which was conducted near Tortoroow in southern Somalia, was based on "actionable intelligence" and no civilians were killed, according to a statement Monday from U.S. Africa Command.

"Al-Shabaab has pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda and is dedicated to providing safe haven for terrorist attacks throughout the world. Al-Shabaab has publicly committed to planning and conducting attacks against the U.S. and our allies," the statement said. "The U.S. conducted this operation in coordination with its regional partners as a direct response to al-Shabaab actions, including recent attacks on Somali forces."

The statement added that the strike was conducted under the authority Trump granted in March, "which allows the U.S. Department of Defense to conduct lethal action against al-Shabaab within a geographically-defined area of hostile activities in support of partner force in Somalia."

The U.S. conducted its first airstrike under the new authority on June 11.