US Unleashed 'Earthquake' Strike on al-Shabab

Target may have been Somali militants' 'spiritual leader'

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 1, 2014 11:21 PM CDT | Updated Sep 2, 2014 7:48 AM CDT

(Newser) – The US says it carried out an operation against Islamic extremists in Somalia yesterday, but the military hasn't released other details of the strike on the al-Shabab network. "We are assessing the results of the operation and will provide additional information as and when appropriate," a Pentagon spokesman told reporters. A Somali official tells the AP that a drone targeted the al-Shabab "spiritual leader" Ahmed Abdi Godane and he may have been killed along with other militants; another official says the attack felt like an "earthquake." The strike came the day after Somali government forces battled extremists trying to free their comrades from a high-security prison in Mogadishu.

The battle at the prison, which houses hundreds of al-Shabab members, left all the attackers dead, along with two civilians and three government soldiers. Yesterday, the African Union mission in the country announced that it had freed several towns from militant control, and its troops "faced little resistance from their advancement as al-Shabab simply melted away," CNN reports. Earlier this year, the US revealed that it has had a deployment of soldiers in Somalia since 2007 to help fight the extremists.

Civilians who had left the town of Bulomarer when it was held by al-Shabab militants return following the town's capture by African Union and Somali government soldiers.
Civilians who had left the town of Bulomarer when it was held by al-Shabab militants return following the town's capture by African Union and Somali government soldiers.   (AP Photo/AMISOM, Tobin Jones)
Al-Shabab fighters display weapons as they conduct military exercises in Somalia.
Al-Shabab fighters display weapons as they conduct military exercises in Somalia.   (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh-FILE)
Al-Shabab fighters display weapons as they conduct military exercises in Somalia.
Al-Shabab fighters display weapons as they conduct military exercises in Somalia.   (AP Photo/Mohamed Sheikh Nor)
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