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Somalia Drone Strike Kills al-Qaida Operative


A Somali National Army soldier points at an African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) armored personnel carrier during an advance into insurgent al-Shabab territory in Mogadishu, January 21, 2012.

A Somali National Army soldier points at an African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) armored personnel carrier during an advance into insurgent al-Shabab territory in Mogadishu, January 21, 2012.

Insurgents in Somalia say a drone aircraft strike has killed an al-Qaida operative fighting alongside the al-Shabab rebels.

An al-Shabab spokesman identified the fighter as British passport holder Bilal al-Berjawi. He said drone-fired missiles hit Berjawi's car south of Mogadishu on Saturday.

There has been no independent confirmation.

The United States has authorized covert missions against insurgents in the Horn of Africa, but does not comment officially on drone attacks.

People in the nearby town of Elasha reported hearing at least two explosions.

Berjawi's reported killing came a day after Somalia's transitional government announced a major push to rid Mogadishu of al-Shabab militants.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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