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US launches airstrike in Somalia

The United States launched an air strike in Somalia, targetting a senior leader of al-Shabab, the Pentagon said.

US Defense Department spokesman Mark Wright said in an emailed statement that "the strike took place in the vicinity of Saakow, Somalia."

Officials declined to state the target of the airstrike, with the New York Times reporting a senior defense official as anonymously saying Ahmad Umar, the leader of al-Shabab, was not the target of the attack.

 "At this time, we do not assess there to be any civilian or bystander casualties,” said Wright. “We are assessing the results of the operation and will provide additional information, when appropriate, as details become available."

The latest attack comes after senior al-Shabab leader Zakariya Ismail Ahmed Hersi surrendered earlier this week.

See our earlier post: Senior al-Shabab commander surrenders (28 Dec 2014)

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