Somalia: The Death Toll of U.S. Warplanes Airstrike Increases

At least 15 people were reported dead in US planes' air strike in Dusamareeb town, central Somalia, that killed the commander of Alshabab Islamic fighters, Aden Hashi Eyrow, on Wednesday night, residents said.

"I saw human pieces in the hit missile homes and nearby houses," resident Fatima Said told Shabelle English service by phone.

Three US AC-130 type aircraft slowly flying were reported to have bombarded the house of Adan Eyrow and near enough abodes.

Some residents told that the hydroplanes headed to the north of the town after the bombardment.

Some residents have started to unearth the missiles at the houses where pieces were slowly unearthed.

It's the first time that US warplanes have raided in Galgadud region.

The spokesman for the Islamic al-Shabab militia, Sheik Muqtar Robow, said the strike killed Aden Hashi Ayro, his brother and seven others at his house in the central Somali town of Dusamareeb, about 300 miles north of Mogadishu. Six more people were wounded.

"Our brother martyr Aden Hashi, has received what he was looking for — death for the sake of Allah — at the hands of the United States," Robow told Shabelle Radio by phone.

"This would not deter us from continuing our holy war against Allah's enemy; we will be on the right way, that is why we are targeted. I call for our holy fighters to remain strong in their position and keep up the jihad," he added.

Over the past year, the U.S. military has attacked several suspected Islamists in Somalia, most recently in March when the U.S. Navy fired at least one missile into a southern Somali town.

Somali government officials have said Ayro trained in Afghanistan before the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks and is the head of al-Qaida's cell in Somalia.

He was a key figure in the al-Shabab movement, which aims to impose Islamic law and launches daily attacks on the shaky Somali government and their Ethiopian allies.

Ayro also recently called for attacks on African peacekeepers in Somalia in a recording on an Islamic Web site.

"We heard a huge explosion and when we ran out of our house we saw a ball of smoke and flames coming out of the house where one of the leaders of al-Shabab Aden Hashi Ayro was staying," he said.

Al-Shabab is the armed wing of the Council of Islamic Courts movement. The State Department considers al-Shabab as terrorist organization.

The Council of Islamic Courts seized control of much of southern Somalia, including the capital, Mogadishu, in 2006. But troops loyal to the U.N.-backed interim Somali government and the allied Ethiopian army drove the group from power that December.

Ethiopia's archenemy, Eritrea, has offered assistance to the group, and it is re-emerging. In recent months it has briefly taken several towns, freeing prisoners and seizing weapons from government forces. The insurgents usually withdraw after a few hours but continue to target Ethiopian and Somali forces in an Iraq-style insurgency.

The United States has repeatedly accused the Islamic group of harboring international terrorists linked to al-Qaida, which is allegedly responsible for the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

America is concerned Somalia is a breeding ground for terrorist groups, particularly after the Islamic militants briefly gained control of the south and Osama bin Laden declared his support for them.

Fighting between government troops and the insurgents claimed thousands of lives last year and drove hundreds of thousands from their homes.

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