81 militants killed in security forces airstrikes in southern Somalia: Govt

African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) officers patrol around the Gashandhiga academy compound during celebrations of the 55th anniversary day of the Somali military force on April 12,2015 in Mogadishu. AFP PHOTO / MOHAMED ABDIWAHAB (Photo credit should read Mohamed Abdiwahab/AFP/Getty Images)

The Somali government said on Saturday that at least 81 Islamist militants were killed in two new security operations in Jilib, in Middle Juba of southern Somalia, Xinhua news agency reports.

Information Minister Abdurahman Omar Osman said the early Saturday operations, which were carried out by Somali and international partners, targeted a factory house and militants mobilizing to attack Gedo region.

“Somali security forces conducted special operations in Jilib district and destroyed an Al-Shabaab camp where terrorists were regrouping to launch attacks on Gedo region area,” Osman said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.

“Some 81 militants were killed, a number of vehicles and heavy weapons destroyed.”