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The United States military on Tuesday called on Somalia to enhance vigilance and cooperation to keep both the country and region safe from terror threats.

Stephen Townsend, commander of U.S. Africa Command (Africom) who visited Somalia as part of his trip to the African continent, noted the threats posed by the terrorist networks to African partners, U.S. interests in the region and U.S. homeland.

“Terrorists need to know that we will pursue them relentlessly to disrupt and degrade them today and prevent their spread tomorrow,” he said in a statement issued by the U.S. embassy in Mogadishu.

Townsend, who met with the president of Somalia and senior U.S. and Somali military leadership in Mogadishu, said Washington’s commitment to helping its Somali partners improve security and develop their defense institutions is a top priority.

“Security also requires continued efforts and coordinated support from the international community to make it work,” he said.

The U.S. military official said the visit offered an opportunity to meet with the troops and assess the progress of the campaign against terror networks in the region.

The U.S. strikes have largely targeted al-Shabab figureheads based in southern and central Somalia where the group still maintains a strong grip in some regions.

The militants have recently increased their attacks against Africa Union and Somali forces especially in Mogadishu targeting their bases, hotels and other public places. Enditem

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