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US airstrike against al-Qaeda in Somalia

News18

First published: January 9, 2007, 1:22 PM IST | Updated: January 9, 2007
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US airstrike against al-Qaeda in Somalia
US launched a strike in Somalia against al-Qaeda members suspected of bombing US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

Washington: The US military has launched a strike in Somalia against al-Qaeda operatives suspected of playing a role in the bombing of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, CBS television reported on Monday.

A Somali government source said that the air attack left "many dead".

An AC-130 gunship flying from Djibouti carried out the attack in southern Somalia after US intelligence tracked the operatives with an unmanned aerial drone, the news network reported.

CBS cited reports of dead bodies in the area, but there was no verification as to whether the al-Qaeda agents were among them.

One of the targets was believed to be al-Qaeda's senior leader in East Africa.

The report comes as Islamists who had gained control of most of Somalia were on the run after an Ethiopian-supported assault against them.

There was no immediate comment of the report from the Pentagon, but CNN later cited a senior Pentagon official as saying an attack had occurred.

US, Ethiopian and Kenyan intelligence officials say some Islamists provided shelter to a handful of al-Qaeda members, and that suspects in the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania used Somalia as a base.

The Islamists deny any al-Qaeda links.

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