U.S. carries out air strike in Somalia targeting militant suspect

WASHINGTON Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:50am EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military carried out a missile strike in Somalia on Sunday targeting a suspected militant leader with ties to al Qaeda and al Shabaab, a U.S. military official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The strike took place in southern Somalia, the official said, without offering further information, including the identity of the suspect or whether the strike was believed to have been successful.

Another U.S. official, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said the operation took place in a remote area near Barawe, Somalia.

Barawe, a militant stronghold on Somalia's southern coast, was the site of a failed raid by American commandos in October targeting a militant known as Ikrima.

The U.S. forces pulled out after a gun battle without capturing Ikrima, described as a planner and operator who has relentlessly plotted attacks on neighboring Kenya.

Al Shabaab has been weakened by African Union troops over the past two years, ushering in some stability in many parts of the Horn of Africa country after a campaign of cross-border raids and kidnappings of Westerners and security forces.

But the rebels, who have waged a seven-year insurgency seeking to impose a strict interpretation of sharia law in Somalia, stunned the world in September when they attacked an upscale shopping mall in Nairobi, killing at least 67 people.

Late last year, the U.S. military deepened its involvement in Somalia, establishing a unit of fewer than five troops in the capital, Mogadishu, to help advice and support African Union and Somali forces.

(Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Jim Loney and Peter Cooney)

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Comments (10)
TheLastNomad wrote:
Ah, the Horn of Africa. African real estate that both the Soviets and U.S. wanted to control so badly during the 60′s through the 70′s. Look at it now.

Jan 26, 2014 9:17pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Chris_novais wrote:
Instead of killing these scum in Somalia why don’t they simply build a wall isolating this god forsaken “nation”. Killing them will only make more useful idiots wearing explosive belts and crossing the Kenyan border to kill a few foreigners doing some hunting or safari.

Jan 26, 2014 10:33pm EST  --  Report as abuse
axelray wrote:
The terrorists want to impose “a strict interpretation of sharia law”?
What does the Koran say about murder… is that part of ‘sharia law’?
It allows people to do that? Surely not!

Jan 26, 2014 11:45pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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