US military attacks al-Shabaab in Somalia

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US military attacks al-Shabaab in Somalia
Somali security forces gather outside the scene of a twin bombing attack on a hotel in the capital Mogadishu, Somalia Friday, Feb. 20, 2015. One person rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into the gate of the Central Hotel in Somalia's capital, and another went through the gates and blew himself up, killing at least four people on Friday including the deputy mayor and a legislator, officials said, while the country's deputy prime minister was also among those wounded by the bombings. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)
Somali rescuers carry away the dead body of a civilian from the scene of a twin bombing attack on a hotel in the capital Mogadishu, Somalia, Friday, Feb. 20, 2015. One person rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into the gate of the Central Hotel in Somalia's capital, and another went through the gates and blew himself up, killing at least four people on Friday including the deputy mayor and a legislator, officials said, while the country's deputy prime minister was also among those wounded by the bombings. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)
Somali rescuers carry away the dead body of a civilian from the scene of a twin bombing attack on a hotel in the capital Mogadishu, Somalia, Friday, Feb. 20, 2015. One person rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into the gate of the Central Hotel in Somalia's capital, and another went through the gates and blew himself up, killing at least four people on Friday including the deputy mayor and a legislator, officials said, while the country's deputy prime minister was also among those wounded by the bombings. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)
Somalia federal government soldiers conduct random check of public transport vehicles during a patrol on the streets of Mogadishu on February 18, 2015, as part of an operation against Al-Shebab insurgents. Al-Qaeda-affiliated Shebab rebels are fighting to overthrow the country's internationally-backed government. AFP PHOTO/Mohamed ABDIWAHAB (Photo credit should read Mohamed Abdiwahab/AFP/Getty Images)
Suspected Al-Shebab members are arrested by Somali security forces in Mogadishu on February 18, 2015, during an operation against Al-Shebab insurgents. Al-Qaeda-affiliated Shebab rebels are fighting to overthrow the country's internationally-backed government. AFP PHOTO/Mohamed ABDIWAHAB (Photo credit should read Mohamed Abdiwahab/AFP/Getty Images)
Two men wait with their hands behind their backs and their eyes covered with their shirts after being detained during an operation by Somali security forces against suspected members of the militant group al-Shabab in the capital Mogadishu, Somalia Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015. Earlier this month al-Shabab claimed responsibility for a drive-by shooting of a Somali lawmaker, the latest in a string of violence targeting the country's legislators for assassination. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)
A man is questioned and searched during random vehicle check as part of an operation by Somali security forces against suspected members of the militant group al-Shabab in the capital Mogadishu, Somalia Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015. Earlier this month al-Shabab claimed responsibility for a drive-by shooting of a Somali lawmaker, the latest in a string of violence targeting the country's legislators for assassination. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)
In this picture taken Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015, Somali men walk in front of a branch of Dahabshiil, Somalia's largest remittance company, in Mogadishu, Somalia. Money transfer services have operated for years, but they are now under intense scrutiny as many countries, especially the U.S. and U.K., have accused the agencies of helping fund Islamic extremist terrorist groups. That concern has forced some international banks to terminate business with them — anti-terror laws hold banks responsible if they transfer money to criminal or terror elements. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)
Somali men watch on September 6, 2014 in Mogadishu news on a television channel, broadcasting a portrait of Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab slain leader Ahmed Abdi Godane, recently killed in a US air strike. Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab militants on September 6 announced the appointment of Godane's successor naming Ahmad Umar Abu Ubaidah, described by Shebab sources as a close lieutenant to Godane -- although the name is seen as likely to be a pseudonym. The group also vowed to avenge the death of Godane and said they would continue their fight to topple the country's internationally-backed government. AFP PHOTO / MOHAMED ABDIWAHAB (Photo credit should read Mohamed Abdiwahab/AFP/Getty Images)
Somali men watch the news on September 6, 2014 in Mogadishu on a television set where is broadcasted a portrait of Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab slain leader Ahmed Abdi Godane, recently killed in a US air strike. Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab militants on September 6 announced the appointment of Godane's successor naming Ahmad Umar Abu Ubaidah, described by Shebab sources as a close lieutenant to Godane -- although the name is seen as likely to be a pseudonym. The group also vowed to avenge the death of Godane and said they would continue their fight to topple the country's internationally-backed government. AFP PHOTO / MOHAMED ABDIWAHAB (Photo credit should read Mohamed Abdiwahab/AFP/Getty Images)
Soldiers of the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) secure an area near the Godka Jillicow prison in Mogadishu on August 31, 2014. Somali security forces said on August 31 they had killed at least four Shebab militants, ending a coordinated car bomb and gun attack against the national intelligence headquarters and a detention facility in the capital Mogadishu. AFP PHOTO / ABDIFITAH HASHI NOR (Photo credit should read ABDIFITAH HASHI NOR/AFP/Getty Images)
Soldiers of the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) secure an area near the Godka Jillicow prison in Mogadishu on August 31, 2014. Somali security forces said on August 31 they had killed at least four Shebab militants, ending a coordinated car bomb and gun attack against the national intelligence headquarters and a detention facility in the capital Mogadishu. AFP PHOTO / ABDIFITAH HASHI NOR (Photo credit should read ABDIFITAH HASHI NOR/AFP/Getty Images)
Military officers stand near the site of a major car bomb and gun attack against an intelligence headquarters and detention facility in the center of Mogadishu, which police said left at least seven militants dead, on August 31, 2014. Police and witnesses said a car bomb was detonated outside the National Intelligence Center and was followed by a raid by gunmen disguised in national army uniforms -- a style of attack bearing all the hallmarks of the Al-Qaeda-linked Islamist Shebab militia. The assault came a day after Somalia's national army and African Union forces said they had captured a Shebab stronghold as part of a joint offensive aimed at capturing key ports from the Islamist fighters and cutting off a key source of revenue for the rebels. AFP PHOTO / Mohamed Abdiwahab (Photo credit should read Mohamed Abdiwahab/AFP/Getty Images)
The site of a major car bomb and gun attack against an intelligence headquarters and detention facility in the center of Mogadishu, which police said left at least seven militants dead on August 31, 2014. Police and witnesses said a car bomb was detonated outside the National Intelligence Center and was followed by a raid by gunmen disguised in national army uniforms -- a style of attack bearing all the hallmarks of the Al-Qaeda-linked Islamist Shebab militia. The assault came a day after Somalia's national army and African Union forces said they had captured a Shebab stronghold as part of a joint offensive aimed at capturing key ports from the Islamist fighters and cutting off a key source of revenue for the rebels. AFP PHOTO / Abdifitah Hashi Nor (Photo credit should read ABDIFITAH HASHI NOR/AFP/Getty Images)
The site of a major car bomb and gun attack against an intelligence headquarters and detention facility in the center of Mogadishu, which police said left at least seven militants dead on August 31, 2014. Police and witnesses said a car bomb was detonated outside the National Intelligence Center and was followed by a raid by gunmen disguised in national army uniforms -- a style of attack bearing all the hallmarks of the Al-Qaeda-linked Islamist Shebab militia. The assault came a day after Somalia's national army and African Union forces said they had captured a Shebab stronghold as part of a joint offensive aimed at capturing key ports from the Islamist fighters and cutting off a key source of revenue for the rebels. AFP PHOTO / Mohamed Abdiwahab (Photo credit should read Mohamed Abdiwahab/AFP/Getty Images)
People stand at the site of a major car bomb and gun attack against an intelligence headquarters and detention facility in the center of Mogadishu, which police said left at least seven militants dead on August 31, 2014. Police and witnesses said a car bomb was detonated outside the National Intelligence Center and was followed by a raid by gunmen disguised in national army uniforms -- a style of attack bearing all the hallmarks of the Al-Qaeda-linked Islamist Shebab militia. The assault came a day after Somalia's national army and African Union forces said they had captured a Shebab stronghold as part of a joint offensive aimed at capturing key ports from the Islamist fighters and cutting off a key source of revenue for the rebels. AFP PHOTO / Mohamed Abdiwahab (Photo credit should read Mohamed Abdiwahab/AFP/Getty Images)
Workers continue the long process of removing rubble from the damaged Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014. Court officials and four handcuffed ethnic Somalis accused of aiding the gunmen who attacked Nairobi's Westgate Mall in Sept. 2013, walked through the heavily damaged shopping center on Tuesday led by Chief Magistrate Daniel Ochenja, to help the court visualize the mall's layout for the ongoing trial of the four men. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Somali soldiers patrol in Wadajir district South of capital following heavy fighting as Somali government and African Union troops battled a powerful militia warlord in a bid to disarm him, on August 15, 2014 in Mogadishu. Somalia's government launched a disarmament campaign earlier this month, with troops backed by the AU mission in Somalia (AMISOM) today fighting to seize weapons from militia leader Ahmed Dai. AFP PHOTO/MOHAMED ABDIWAHAB (Photo credit should read Mohamed Abdiwahab/AFP/Getty Images)
Somali soldiers patrol in Wadajir district South of capital following heavy fighting as Somali government and African Union troops battled a powerful militia warlord in a bid to disarm him, on August 15, 2014 in Mogadishu. Somalia's government launched a disarmament campaign earlier this month, with troops backed by the AU mission in Somalia (AMISOM) today fighting to seize weapons from militia leader Ahmed Dai. AFP PHOTO/MOHAMED ABDIWAHAB (Photo credit should read Mohamed Abdiwahab/AFP/Getty Images)
Somali soldiers patrol in Wadajir district South of capital following heavy fighting as Somali government and African Union troops battled a powerful militia warlord in a bid to disarm him, on August 15, 2014 in Mogadishu. Somalia's government launched a disarmament campaign earlier this month, with troops backed by the AU mission in Somalia (AMISOM) today fighting to seize weapons from militia leader Ahmed Dai. AFP PHOTO/MOHAMED ABDIWAHAB (Photo credit should read Mohamed Abdiwahab/AFP/Getty Images)
Soldiers of the African Union's AMISOM check weapons and ammunition seized after heavy fighting early on August 15, 2014 at the Halane military base in Mogadishu as African Union troops backed government forces in the battle to seize weapons from a local militia. Bursts of gunfire and heavy explosions were reported before dawn with rocket-propelled grenades fired by both sides, with witnesses reporting at least five dead. AFP PHOTO/ABDULFITAH HASHI NOR (Photo credit should read ABDULFITAH HASHI NOR/AFP/Getty Images)
Somali soldiers stand guard at the main gate of the presidential palace in Mogadishu, Somalia, Wednesday, July, 9, 2014. Somali troops retook the presidential palace in the capital of Mogadishu after militants forced their way in and exchanged heavy gunfire with troops and guards Tuesday, the latest attack underscoring the threat posed by Islamic extremist group al-Shabab in east Africa. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)
Armed members of the Kenyan security forces march in single file along narrow paths leading through the dense swamp and forest, searching for the attackers, in the remote village of Kaisari, near Mpeketoni, about 60 miles (100 kilometers) from the Somali border on the coast of Kenya Tuesday, June 17, 2014. Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta, in a nationally televised address Tuesday, blamed political leaders inside Kenya for carrying out two nights of deadly attacks that killed at least 60 people in coastal communities, saying that despite claims of responsibility from al-Shabab, the Islamic extremists were not behind it. (AP Photo)
Sheikh Muhammad Khalifa (C) Chairman of the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK) addresses a press conference with others Muslim leaders on June 17, 2014 in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi following the massacre of over 60 people along the Kenyan coast in attacks claimed by the Somalia-based Shabab islamists. Kenya's top Muslim leaders warned Tuesday that Islamist attacks and a harsh government response risked dividing the country along ethnic and religious lines that could trigger a repeat of the deadly post-election violence six years ago even as al-Shabab claimed a new attack in which 15 people have been killed just 24 hours after Somalia's Shebab rebels massacred close to 50 people in the same area. AFP PHOTO/Tony KARUMBA (Photo credit should read TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images)
In this Friday, July 18, 2014 photo, a victim injured after an attack is carried on a stretcher to Malindi sub county hospital in Witu, Kenya. The Kenya Red Cross says seven people have been killed after gunmen attacked a bus along the Kenyan coast where previous attacks had left 87 people dead. The humanitarian group said Saturday the attack Friday night came at Corner Mbaya, 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the coastal town of Witu. Al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab militants from Somalia claimed responsibility for the attack. (AP Photo)
In this photo provided by the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM), African Union (AU) soldiers from Uganda gather in the town of Bulomarer, in the Lower Shabelle region of Somalia Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014. Somali government and AU troops drove al-Shabab militants from their stronghold of Bulomarer on Saturday as part of their military offensive dubbed "Indian Ocean" aiming to oust al-Shabab from its last major hideouts in the southern parts of the Horn of Africa nation. (AP Photo/AMISOM, Tobin Jones)
In this photo provided by the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM), African Union (AU) soldiers from Uganda gather in the town of Bulomarer, in the Lower Shabelle region of Somalia, Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014. Somali government and AU troops drove al-Shabab militants from their stronghold of Bulomarer on Saturday as part of their military offensive dubbed "Indian Ocean" aiming to oust al-Shabab from its last major hideouts in the southern parts of the Horn of Africa nation. (AP Photo/AMISOM, Tobin Jones)
In this photo provided by the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM), African Union (AU) soldiers from Uganda sit on their tank as residents walk past in the town of Bulomarer, in the Lower Shabelle region of Somalia Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014. Somali government and AU troops drove al-Shabab militants from their stronghold of Bulomarer on Saturday as part of their military offensive dubbed "Indian Ocean" aiming to oust al-Shabab from its last major hideouts in the southern parts of the Horn of Africa nation. (AP Photo/AMISOM, Tobin Jones)
In this photo provided by the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM), residents come out onto the streets to speak with the governor of Lower Shabelle and AMISOM soldiers, in the town of Bulomarer, in the Lower Shabelle region of Somalia, Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014. Somali government and AU troops drove al-Shabab militants from their stronghold of Bulomarer on Saturday as part of their military offensive dubbed "Indian Ocean" aiming to oust al-Shabab from its last major hideouts in the southern parts of the Horn of Africa nation. (AP Photo/AMISOM, Tobin Jones)
Somalis assist a wounded civilian to get onto a stretcher as he arrives at a hospital following clashes between Somali troops and militiamen loyal to a Somali warlord, in Mogadishu, Somalia Friday, Aug. 15, 2014. The sounds of warfare rattled Mogadishu residents from their beds early Friday as government troops launched a dawn attack on a house belonging to a former warlord as part of a disarmament campaign. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)
Somalis push a wounded civilian on a stretcher into a hospital following clashes between Somali troops and militiamen loyal to a Somali warlord in Mogadishu, Somalia Friday, Aug. 15, 2014. The sounds of warfare rattled Mogadishu residents from their beds early Friday as government troops launched a dawn attack on a house belonging to a former warlord as part of a disarmament campaign. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)
Three Somali men convicted of assassinations and facilitating attacks for the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabab group in Mogadishu await execution by firing squad on Sunday, Aug. 3, ,2014. The three men who were convicted by a Mogadishu court were executed as part of a series of executions against members of the Al-Qaeda linked militant groups. ( AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)
Somalis carry the body of Saado Ali Warsame, a Somali member of parliament, in Mogadishu, Somalia, Wednesday, July 23, 2014. Gunmen killed a Somali lawmaker in a drive-by shooting Wednesday in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, a police official said. Lawmaker Saado Ali Warsame, who also was a popular singer of Somali folk music, was shot dead by gunmen who pulled up near her car as she was being driven to a hotel, said Somali police Capt. Mohamed Hussein. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)
A Kenyan police officer with civilians watch the Taheed Bus at the Lamu Police Station, Saturday, July 19, 2014. The Kenya Red Cross says seven people have been killed after gunmen attacked a bus along the Kenyan coast where previous attacks had left 87 people dead. The humanitarian group said Saturday the attack Friday night came at Corner Mbaya, 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the coastal town of Witu. Al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab militants from Somalia claimed responsibility for the attack. (AP Photo)
In this Friday, July 18, 2014 photo, a victim injured after an attack is carried on a stretcher to Malindi sub county hospital in Witu, Kenya. The Kenya Red Cross says seven people have been killed after gunmen attacked a bus along the Kenyan coast where previous attacks had left 87 people dead. The humanitarian group said Saturday the attack Friday night came at Corner Mbaya, 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the coastal town of Witu. Al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab militants from Somalia claimed responsibility for the attack. (AP Photo)
Somali soldiers stand guard at the main gate of the presidential palace in Mogadishu, Somalia, Wednesday, July, 9, 2014. Somali troops retook the presidential palace in the capital of Mogadishu after militants forced their way in and exchanged heavy gunfire with troops and guards Tuesday, the latest attack underscoring the threat posed by Islamic extremist group al-Shabab in east Africa. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)
Somali soldiers stand near the wreckage of a car bomb that was detonated at the main gate of the presidential palace in Mogadishu, Somalia, Wednesday, July, 9, 2014. Somali troops retook the presidential palace in the capital of Mogadishu after militants forced their way in and exchanged heavy gunfire with troops and guards Tuesday, the latest attack underscoring the threat posed by Islamic extremist group al-Shabab in east Africa. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)
Somali soldiers patrol near the wreckage of a car bomb that was detonated at the main gate of the presidential palace in Mogadishu, Somalia, Wednesday, July, 9, 2014. Somali troops retook the presidential palace in the capital of Mogadishu after militants forced their way in and exchanged heavy gunfire with troops and guards Tuesday, the latest attack underscoring the threat posed by Islamic extremist group al-Shabab in east Africa. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)
Somali soldiers stand near the wreckage of car bomb that was detonated at the main gate of the presidential palace in Mogadishu, Somalia, Wednesday, July, 9, 2014. Somali troops retook the presidential palace in the capital of Mogadishu after militants forced their way in and exchanged heavy gunfire with troops and guards Tuesday, the latest attack underscoring the threat posed by Islamic extremist group al-Shabab in east Africa. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)
EDS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT - Somali government soldiers look at the dead bodies of al-Shabab militants on a road near the main gate of the presidential palace in Mogadishu, Somalia, Wednesday, July, 9, 2014. Somali troops retook the presidential palace in the capital of Mogadishu after militants forced their way in and exchanged heavy gunfire with troops and guards Tuesday, the latest attack underscoring the threat posed by Islamic extremist group al-Shabab in east Africa. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)
Security personnel and Kenya Red Cross officials stand at the site where gunmen attacked, in Gamba Kenya, Sunday, July 6, 2014. Eighteen people were killed in overnight attacks by the gunmen in two counties on the Kenyan coast, where last month al-Qaida-linked militants claimed responsibility for killing 65 people, the Kenya Red Cross said Sunday. The Sunday attacks took place in the towns of Hindi in Lamu county and Gamba in Tana River, the Kenya Red Cross chief Abbas Gulet said. Al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab militants from Somalia claimed responsibility for the attacks. (AP Photo)
Somali soldiers stand near the wreckage of a suicide car bomb near the Somali parliament in Mogadishu, Somalia, Saturday, July 5, 2014. A Somali police officer says troops have thwarted an attack by a suicide bomber outside the heavily guarded parliament headquarters. Capt. Mohamed Hussein, a senior Somali police officer says troops stopped a suicide car bomber who detonated his explosive-laden car at a checkpoint near the entrance to Somalia's parliament. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)
A doctor treats an injured Somali child at Darul-Shifa hospital after the child was wounded by a car bomb which exploded near the parliament, in Mogadishu, Somalia, Saturday, July 5, 2014. A Somali police officer says troops have thwarted an attack by a suicide car bomber outside the heavily guarded parliament headquarters. Capt. Mohamed Hussein, a senior Somali police officer says troops have stopped a suicide car bomber who detonated his explosive-laden car at a checkpoint near the entrance of Somalia's parliament centre. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)
An injured man is carried on a stretcher to Madina hospital after heavy fighting as Somali government and African Union troops battled a powerful militia warlord in a bid to disarm him, on August 15, 2014 in Mogadishu. Somalia's government launched a disarmament campaign earlier this month, with troops backed by the AU mission in Somalia (AMISOM) today fighting to seize weapons from militia leader Ahmed Dai. AFP PHOTO/Abdulfitah Hashi Nor (Photo credit should read ABDULFITAH HASHI NOR/AFP/Getty Images)
A Somalia carries the body of his child, whose death was caused by heavy fighting as Somali government and African Union troops battled a powerful militia warlord in a bid to disarm him, on August 15, 2014 in Mogadishu. Somalia's government launched a disarmament campaign earlier this month, with troops backed by the AU mission in Somalia (AMISOM) today fighting to seize weapons from militia leader Ahmed Dai. AFP PHOTO/Abdulfitah Hashi Nor (Photo credit should read ABDULFITAH HASHI NOR/AFP/Getty Images)
An injured man is escorted to Madina hospital after heavy fighting as Somali government and African Union troops battled a powerful militia warlord in a bid to disarm him, on August 15, 2014 in Mogadishu. Somalia's government launched a disarmament campaign earlier this month, with troops backed by the AU mission in Somalia (AMISOM) today fighting to seize weapons from militia leader Ahmed Dai. AFP PHOTO/Abdulfitah Hashi Nor (Photo credit should read ABDULFITAH HASHI NOR/AFP/Getty Images)
Students hold placards and gesture on August 13, 2014 in the Somalian capital Mogadishu, during a demonstration to protest Israel's military operation in Gaza. Egyptian mediators scrambled on August 13 to secure agreement from both sides to extend a three-day lull expiring at midnight, as five weeks of bloody fighting has killed more than 1,950 Palestinians, 64 Israeli soldiers and three civilians in Israel. AFP PHOTO/Mohamed ABDIWAHAB (Photo credit should read Mohamed Abdiwahab/AFP/Getty Images)
Three suspected Shebab Islamic militants are tied to large wooden stakes before being executed by a firing squad on August 3, 2014 in Mogadishu. The three men were condemned to death for murder, police chief Abdi Mohamed told AFP, with one of the men allegedly taking part in an assault on the presidential palace last month. The executions come three days after another Somali MP was assassinated by Shebab guerrillas in the capital, the fifth this year, as the militants step up their attacks in Mogadishu to counter claims that their insurgency is waning. AFP PHOTO / MOHAMED ABDIWAHAB (Photo credit should read Mohamed Abdiwahab/AFP/Getty Images)
A member of the Somali security forces looks at blood stains on the ground following a bomb blast in Mogadishu on August 3, 2014. At least three city workers, all women, were killed when a bomb hidden in a rubbish pit exploded in the Somali capital while they were cleaning the streets. AFP PHOTO/ABDIFITAH HASHI NOR (Photo credit should read ABDIFITAH HASHI NOR/AFP/Getty Images)
Somali security forces patrol following a bomb blast in Mogadishu on August 3, 2014. At least three city workers, all women, were killed when a bomb hidden in a rubbish pit exploded in the Somali capital while they were cleaning the streets. AFP PHOTO/ABDIFITAH HASHI NOR (Photo credit should read ABDIFITAH HASHI NOR/AFP/Getty Images)
(From L) Omar Liban Abdulle, Mohamed Abdi Ahmed, Hussein Hassan Mustafa and Adan Mohamed Ibrahim, appear in court on August 5, 2014, in Nairobi, charged in connection with the Westgate mall massacre in September 2013.The trial of the four men accused of helping the gunmen behind Kenya's Westgate mall massacre in September 2013 in which at least 67 people were killed, resumed on August 5 in the capital nairobi. AFP PHOTO / SIMON MAINA (Photo credit should read SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images)
The Chief Magistrate who is conducting the trial of four men accused of aiding the Westgate Mall gunmen, leads them around the mall accompanied by police officers and media in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014. Court officials and four handcuffed ethnic Somalis accused of aiding the gunmen who attacked Nairobi's Westgate Mall in Sept. 2013, walked through the heavily damaged shopping center on Tuesday led by Chief Magistrate Daniel Ochenja, to help the court visualize the mall's layout for the ongoing trial of the four men. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Workers continue the long process of removing rubble from the damaged Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014. Court officials and four handcuffed ethnic Somalis accused of aiding the gunmen who attacked Nairobi's Westgate Mall in Sept. 2013, walked through the heavily damaged shopping center on Tuesday led by Chief Magistrate Daniel Ochenja, to help the court visualize the mall's layout for the ongoing trial of the four men. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
MOGADISHU, SOMALIA - JULY 5: A car bomb attack, staged near parliament building, kills 4 people and injures 3 others in Mogadishu, Somalia on July 5, 2014. (Photo by Ismael Abdallah/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Eritreans and Somalian refugees receive clothes donated by the religious community of Lampedusa to migrants on February 18, 2015. Authorities on the Italian island of Lampedusa struggled to cope with a huge influx of newly-arrived migrants as aid organisations warned the Libya crisis means thousands more could be on their way. Officials on the tiny island south of Sicily were trying to process more than 1,200 exhausted, often traumatised and ill Africans in a reception centre designed for less than a third of that number. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)
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MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) - U.S. military forces attacked the extremist al-Shabaab network in Somalia Monday, the Pentagon said, and a witness described ground-shaking explosions in a strike that reportedly targeted the group's leader.

Al-Shabab had attacked the upscale Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, killing at least 67 people a year ago this month and the U.S. had targeted planners of the bloody assault. There was no immediate comment from al-Shabab and U.S. commanders were waiting to determine the attack's outcome.

U.S. Conducts Operation in Somalia, Includes Drones Strikes

"U.S. military forces conducted an operation in Somalia today against the al-Shabaab network. We are assessing the results of the operation and will provide additional information as and when appropriate," said Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby.

After the U.S. strike Monday night, masked Islamic militants arrested dozens of residents suspected of spying for the U.S. and searched nearby homes, a resident said.

"Mass arrests just started, everyone is being detained," said Mohamed Ali, who lives in Sablale district. "They even searched nearby jungles and stopped the nomads transporting milk and grass to the towns for questioning."

A senior Somali intelligence official said a U.S. drone targeted al-Shabab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane as he left a meeting of the group's top leaders. Godane, also known as Mukhtar Abu Zubeyr, is the group's spiritual leader under whose direction the Somali militants forged an alliance with al-Qaida.

The Somali official, speaking on condition of anonymity since he was not authorized to speak to the media, said intelligence indicated Godane "might have been killed along with other militants." The official said the attack took place in a forest near Sablale district, 105 miles (170 kilometers) south of Mogadishu, where al-Shabab trains its fighters.

The governor of Somalia's Lower Shabelle region, Abdiqadir Mohamed Nor, told The Associated Press that as government and African Union forces were heading to a town in Sablale district, they heard what sounded like an "earthquake" as the al-Shabab bases were hit.

"There was an airstrike near Sablale. We saw something," Nor said.

The U.S. has carried out several airstrikes in Somalia recent years.

A U.S. missile strike in January killed a high-ranking intelligence officer for al-Shabab, and last October a vehicle carrying senior members of the group was hit in a U.S. strike that killed al-Shabab's top explosives expert.

The latest U.S. action comes after Somalia's government forces regained control of a high-security prison in the capital that was attacked on Sunday. Seven heavily armed suspected al-Shabab members had attempted to free other extremists held there.

Somali officials said all seven attackers, three government soldiers and two civilians were killed. Mogadishu's Godka Jilacow prison is an interrogation center for Somalia's intelligence agency, and many suspected militants are believed to be held in underground cells there. The attack started when a suicide car bomber detonated an explosives-laden vehicle at the gate of the prison and the gunmen then fought their way into the prison.

Al-Shabab had attacked the mall in Nairobi last year in retaliation against Kenya for sending troops into Somalia against the extremists. Godane said at the time that the attack was carried out in retaliation for the West's support for Kenya's Somalia intervention and the "interest of their oil companies."

Al Shabab is now mostly active in Somalia's rural regions after being ousted from the capital by African Union forces in 2011.

Somali military officials last week launched a military operation to oust al-Shabab from its last remaining bases in the southern parts of Somalia. On Saturday the militants withdrew from the town of Bulomarer, located about 110 kilometers (70 miles) south of Mogadishu, after hours of fighting.

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