Mogadishu, Somalia — The U.S. military for the first time has conducted two airstrikes against Islamic State group fighters in Somalia.

A U.S. official says the strikes were carried out in northeastern Somalia, with the first around midnight local time and the second later in the morning.

The official was not authorized to discuss the mission publicly so spoke on condition of anonymity.

ISIS-linked fighters are a growing presence in the Horn of Africa nation long threatened by the al Qaida-linked extremist group al-Shabab.

A Somali security official says at least six missiles struck in Buqa, a remote mountainous village roughly 60 kilometers (37 miles) north of Qandala town in Somalia’s northern state of Puntland. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Qandala Mayor Jama Mohamed confirms the airstrike, which he said sent terrified villagers fleeing.

The U.S. Africa Command did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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