US Strike Kills 150-plus Fighters at Somalia Training Camp

FILE - In this Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011 photo, hundreds of newly trained al-Shabab fighters perform military exercises in the Lafofe area south of Mogadishu, in Somalia. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)
FILE - In this Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011 photo, hundreds of newly trained al-Shabab fighters perform military exercises in the Lafofe area south of Mogadishu, in Somalia. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)

WASHINGTON  — A U.S. airstrike using multiple drones and manned aircraft struck a training camp in Somalia on Saturday, killing more than 150 al-Shabab fighters who were preparing to launch a large-scale attack, likely against African or U.S. personnel, the Pentagon said Monday.

Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said the U.S. had been watching the site, called Raso Camp, for several weeks. He said it appeared that the training was ending and the operational phase of a suspected attack was about to start.

The strike, which happened in the early evening in Somalia, involved both missiles and bombs. Davis said the training camp, about 120 miles (193 kilometers) north of Mogadishu, was destroyed.

He said the U.S. estimated that as many as 200 fighters had been at the camp, including a number of trainers. He said there were no known civilian casualties.

The al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab has been linked to a number of attacks, including the detonation of a bomb aboard a commercial passenger jet last month that forced the plane to make an emergency landing in Mogadishu.

There are routinely military forces from the U.S. and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) working in the country.

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