US targets Islamists in air strike on Somali home
KISMAYU: Two missiles hit a house in southern Somalia yesterday in an attack the United States said was directed at “a known al Qaeda terrorist”.
It was the fourth US strike in 14 months on Somalia, where Washington believes Islamists are sheltering wanted al Qaeda figures.
“This attack was against a known al Qaeda terrorist,” Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said in Washington.
“As we have repeatedly said, we will continue to pursue terrorist activities and their operations wherever we may find them,” he said, declining to give details of yesterday’s operation.
Residents of Dobley, a town 140 miles from the southern port city of Kismayu, said they believed the missiles were targeting senior Islamist leaders meeting nearby.
District commissioner Ali Hussein Nur said six people were killed.
A militant Islamist organisation, the Mujahideen Youth Group, said on a website often used by al Qaeda supporters that the US attack had “failed to hit leaders” of the group.
Nur said Sheikh Hassan Turki, a militant cleric, and other leaders of a militant Islamist group had been meeting. The Islamists have been waging an uprising against government forces.
US air strikes struck Islamists in southern Somalia in January last year.