U.S. military strike in Somalia targets al-Shabab leader

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A U.S. defense official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing analysis of the strike, said officials were not fully certain whether the strike had hit the militant. But he added: “We think the targeting was done precisely and accurately.”

The official said that Monday’s attack on al-Shabab did not include any U.S. operations on the ground against the militant leader, whom he declined to name.

The operation is the Obama administration’s latest attempt to weaken the militant group that poses a threat not just within Somalia but across east Africa. In September, officials confirmed that a U.S. drone strike had killed Ahmed Abdi Godane, the then-leader of al-Shabab. Godane had claimed responsibility for a bloody attack on a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, last year.

In countries like Somalia, where the United States has limited or no troops on the ground, it can take time for the Pentagon to confirm the outcome of drone strikes.

The militant group, which in 2012 affiliated itself with al-Qaeda, has been under pressure over the past year. Last week, a man said to be another senior al-Shabab leader surrendered to Somali authorities.

Source:Washington post