24 June 2011

Somalia: Foreign Helicopters Raid in Southern Town

Kismayo — More details emerged hours after unknown helicopters launched raid on military base Al shabaab has in Kismayo town in southern Somalia.

Local residents told Shabelle Media Network that the helicopters targeted Al shabaab military base in Qandal area just outside of Kismayo.

Residents also noted that foreign fighters are believed to be there when the raid took place on Thursday. Heavy sounds of explosion with the sound of helicopters could be heard during the aerial attack.

At least two Al shabaab fighters were confirmed dead after sustaining critical injures from the explosions of the raid.

The chairman of Al shabaab at Kismayo, Sheikh Hassan Yaqub Ali told Al shabaab run radio that unknown helicopters raid them, but aid rebelled. He said two of their fighters injured in attack.

The United States has authorised covert operations in the Horn of Africa nation in the past. U.S. special forces killed one of east Africa's top al Qaeda militants, Kenyan-born Saleh Ali Nabhan, in southern Somalia in September 2009.

U.S. officials have said they have a list of suspects they believe are in Somalia and constantly monitor the country with a view to striking if any are spotted.

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