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Jun 16, 2007 at 01:22pm IST

US airstrike against al-Qaeda in Somalia

Washington: The US military has launched a strike in Somalia against al-Qaeda operatives suspected of playing a role in the bombing of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, CBS television reported on Monday.

A Somali government source said that the air attack left "many dead".

An AC-130 gunship flying from Djibouti carried out the attack in southern Somalia after US intelligence tracked the operatives with an unmanned aerial drone, the news network reported.

AIRSTRIKE AGAINST AL-QAEDA: US intelligence says some Islamists provided shelter to al-Qaeda members.

CBS cited reports of dead bodies in the area, but there was no verification as to whether the al-Qaeda agents were among them.

One of the targets was believed to be al-Qaeda's senior leader in East Africa.

The report comes as Islamists who had gained control of most of Somalia were on the run after an Ethiopian-supported assault against them.

There was no immediate comment of the report from the Pentagon, but CNN later cited a senior Pentagon official as saying an attack had occurred.

US, Ethiopian and Kenyan intelligence officials say some Islamists provided shelter to a handful of al-Qaeda members, and that suspects in the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania used Somalia as a base.

The Islamists deny any al-Qaeda links.

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