The United States on Monday denied losing three of its soldiers in a terror attack northwest of the Somali capital, Mogadishu, on Friday.

The U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) accused extremist group al-Shabab of falsely claiming its fighters killed three U.S. soldiers in the attack on a military base at Baledogle on Feb. 15.

“No U.S. casualties were reported after an airfield at Baledogle, Somalia, received indirect fire Feb. 15,” Africom spokesman Christopher P. Karns told Xinhua. “The terrorist group al-Shabab falsely claimed it killed three U.S. soldiers in the attack.”

Karns said there is an uptick in instances where extremists resort to making false claims to the press.

Al-Shabab had claimed that its fighters fired mortar rounds, killing three American soldiers and five Somali members of a special commando, whose training base is at Baledogle, about 95 km northwest of Mogadishu.

Karns said increased pressure is being placed on the al-Shabab network, helping to create enhanced security conditions while creating time and space to bring about political progress and economic development.

“In 2019, persistent pressure has been placed on al-Shabab by the federal government of Somalia, its forces, and partners in an effort to degrade its network,” he added.

U.S., Somali and African Union forces have increased ground and air offensives against the militant group in the last few months.

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