Somalia strike ‘missed al-Qaeda targets’
The controversial US air strike in southern Somalia missed all three top al-Qaeda members Washington alleges are hiding out in the country, a senior US official said on Thursday.]]>
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said eight to 10 “al-Qaeda affiliated terrorists” were killed in Monday’s attack, but gave no details.
On Tuesday the Pentagon confirmed that an AC130 aircraft was used to target “the principal al-Qaeda leadership in the region”. The attack marked the first overt US military intervention in the Horn of Africa nation since its doomed invasion in the 1990s.
The strike was criticised by the European Commission, as well as the Arab League which claimed it had killed “many innocent victims” and demanded that Washington refrain from further attacks. There were no accurate casualty figures.
Washington’s main accusation against a Somali Islamist movement was that it was sheltering three al-Qaeda members wanted in connection with the 1998 US embassy attacks in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam and 2002 attacks in Kenya.