6 Islamist militants killed in US attack in Somalia
By Associated Press
MOGADISHU, Somalia — Al-Shabaab’s top leader was traveling in one of two vehicles hit Monday night in a US military strike, a member of the Somali Islamic extremist group said Tuesday.
The spokesman would not say whether al-Shabaab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane was among the six militants killed.
The two vehicles were heading toward the coastal town of Barawe, al-Shabaab’s main base, when they were hit, Abu Mohammed told the Associated Press. A witness in Somalia described ground-shaking explosions in the strike.
Al-Shabaab attacked the upscale Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, killing at least 67 people, a year ago this month, and the US targeted planners of the bloody assault. US commanders were waiting to determine the attack’s outcome.
“US military forces conducted an operation in Somalia today against the al-Shabaab network. We are assessing the results of the operation and will provide additional information as and when appropriate,” said Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby.
After the US strike in a forest south of Mogadishu, masked Islamic militants in the area arrested dozens of residents they suspected of spying for the US and searched nearby homes, a resident said.