May 12, 2016 3:21 PM EDT

The U.S. military conducted an airstrike against al Shabab militants in southern Somalia early Thursday, Pentagon officials said.

A very small group of U.S. military advisers accompanied some Ugandan soldiers during a raid of an illegal taxation checkpoint in rural southern Somalia just west of Mogadishu, Pentagon spokesperson Captain Jeff Davis said.

The U.S. was there in an advise and assist capacity, he said.

During the raid, the Ugandans came under fire from 15-20 al Shabab militants and the U.S. commander on the ground called in a “defensive” airstrike, killing five militants and wounding two more.

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