Speed Reads

International Affairs

U.S. hits Islamist militant group al-Shabab in Somalia

On Monday, the U.S. launched a miltary strike against the Islamist militant group al-Shabab in Somalia. Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said in a statement late Monday only that "we are assessing the results of the operation and will provide additional information as and when appropriate." But NBC News, citing U.S. officials, reports that U.S. drones launched Hellfire missiles at two or more vehicles in remote southern Somalia, with the apparent goal of killing top al-Shabab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane.

On Sunday, al-Shabab militants fought their way into a prison in Mogadishu, the Somali capital, apparently to free fellow Islamist militants. All seven militants, three prison guards, and two civilians were killed in the battle, Somali officials say. Al-Shabab is most infamous for the bloody attack a year ago on the upscale Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya. An al Qaeda affiliate, al-Shabab controlled Mogadishu and much of southern Somalia until an African Union force drove them out in 2011; the group still has enclaves in southern Somalia.