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Somalia: US Warplanes Strike Suspected al-Qaida Hideouts


A U.S. gunship late Monday attacked one, possibly two, suspected al-Qaida hideouts in southern Somalia. The American air strike is reported to have targeted several operatives involved in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in east Africa. VOA Correspondent Alisha Ryu has details from our East Africa Bureau in Nairobi.

VOA has learned that the air strike was ordered by top military commanders at U.S. Central Command in Doha, Qatar, after receiving intelligence that several of the al-Qaida operatives were in the vicinity of Ras Kamboni, on the southern-most tip of Somalia near the border with Kenya.

It is not yet clear if any of the intended targets were killed in the attack.

The United States has long accused some senior leaders of Somalia's recently-ousted Islamist movement of harboring the al-Qaida suspects and operating terrorist training camps at Ras Kamboni and elsewhere in Somalia.

It is believed that the operatives fled from Mogadishu with the Islamist leaders late last month, as Somali interim government troops and their Ethiopian allies closed in on the capital.

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