US targets al-Shabab in Somalia strike

US targets al-Shabab in Somalia strike
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A U.S. drone strike at an al-Shabab training camp in Somalia killed more than 150 fighters, the Pentagon said Monday.

U.S. Navy Cmdr. Gary Ross, a Pentagon spokesman, said the strike was carried out against the al Qaeda-linked terrorist group Saturday at Raso Camp, about 120 miles north of the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

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The United States was watching the camp for weeks, he said. The training appeared to be ending, he added, and the operational phase of a suspected attack appeared ready to start.

In addition to the drones, the strike was carried out with manned aircraft, Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said in a written statement.

The fighters posed an “imminent” threat to U.S. and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces, Cook said.

“The removal of these fighters degrades al-Shabab's ability to meet the group's objectives in Somalia, including recruiting new members, establishing bases and planning attacks on U.S. and AMISOM forces,” Cook said.

The United States is still assessing portions of the strike, including whether senior leaders were killed, Ross said.

—Updated at 1:48 p.m.