Somalia: Details emerge of US drone strike
MOGADISHU, Somalia-Further details have emerged about an airstrike unleashed on a training camp run by Somalia’s Al Qaeda-linked Al Shabaab, with militants denying reports of 150 deaths as ‘exaggerated’, Garowe Online reports.
A spokesman for Al Shabaab, Abdiasis Abu Musab, told Al Jazeera that the militant group has never gathered this number of fighters in one camp for fears of potential dismantling.
He dismissed claims by the Pentagon as ‘unfounded’ but he didn’t disclose the exact casualties from the drone strike.
“The Americans are dreaming. We never gather that many of our fighters in one place. We know the security situation,” he told Al Jazeera.
A Pentagon spokesman, Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, said the drone attack prevented what appeared to be a large-scale terror operation from happening.
The U.S. have watched the training complex for weeks, until Saturday strikes against Raso Camp where 150 militants who were preparing for assault on African or U.S. personnel were killed.
--Somali Intelligence involved
Meanwhile Somali Foreign Affairs Minister, Abdisalan Omar Hadliyo, has admitted that Somali Intelligence Service has a played role in the U.S. operation in an interview with Reuters.
He said, Somalis tipped off U.S. on the situation on the ground and eventually made the strike possible.
Somalia’s battered Intelligence previously claimed; it helped US conduct aerial raids on Al Shabaab camps in central and southern Somalia.
Al Shabaab lost ground against Somali government forces aided by African Union peacekeepers in coordinated onslaughts. However, militants still remain active in a chunk of territories.
Hundreds of people including government officials and foreigners have so far been killed in apparently coordinated bombings claimed by what has been a beleaguered group.