News 2008


U.S. official: Missiles fired at Somalia terror target at Kenya Border

From Barbara Starr

CNN Pentagon Correspondent

WASHINGTON (CNN) - 02. March 2008 - The United States on Monday used precision missiles to strike a "known terrorist target" in southern Somalia, a U.S. military official said.

The strike near Dhoobley, which is close to the Kenyan border, was aimed at a "facility where there were known terrorists" affiliated with East African al Qaeda operations, according to the official.

News agency reports from the region are saying civilians were killed in the attack, but the official said the United States still is collecting post-strike information and is not yet able to confirm any details about casualties.

The U.S. military official described Monday's strike as "very deliberate" and said forces tried to use caution to avoid hitting civilians.

"We woke up with a loud and big bang and when we came out we found our neighbor's house completely obliterated as if no house existed here," a resident of the town, Fatuma Abdullahi, told The Associated Press. "We are taking shelter under trees. Three planes were flying over our heads."

Clan elder Ahmed Nur Dalab told AP that said a senior Islamic official, Hassan Turki, was in town Sunday to mediate between his fighters and a militia loyal to the government. Turki's forces took over Dhoobley last week, AP reported.

In early 2007, Somali troops and their Ethiopian allies drove out a radical Islamic group to which Turki is allied that had taken over much of southern Somalia, AP reported. The Islamic forces have fought to regain power. Somalia has been mired in chaos since 1991, when warlords overthrew dictator Mohamed Siad Barre and then turned on each other.

The United States conducted similar strikes in southern Somalia in January 2007 against al Qaeda targets, hoping to kill some of the militants suspected in the 1998 attacks against the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

U.S. officials later confirmed they did not believe they achieved that goal.

US military confirms launched strike in South Somalia

Mon 3 Mar 2008

WASHINGTON, March 3 (Reuters) - The U.S. military targeted suspected "terrorists" in a strike launched early on Monday in Dobley, Somalia, a senior U.S. military official said.

The official, who declined to be named, told Reuters: "We launched a deliberate strike against a suspected bed-down of known terrorists."

He said it was too early to know what damage had been inflicted, including whether any people were injured or killed in the strike launched overnight Washington time (early morning GMT). The official declined to give details on the type of weapon used.

This was the fourth U.S. air strike on Somalia in 14 months.

Local officials and witnesses in Somalia said they believed two missiles hit a makeshift house in Dobley, a town in a remote area of southern Somalia about 140 miles (220 km) from the port city of Kismayu, in a U.S. air strike against Islamist insurgents.