US confirms Somali assasinations in helicopter raid
U.S. troops claimed helicopter raid in Somalia has killed a man wanted for questioning over the bombing of an Israeli-owned hotel in Kenya in 2002.
A U.S. helicopter raid in southern Somalia has killed a man wanted for questioning over the bombing of an Israeli-owned hotel in Kenya in 2002, unnamed US sources say.
U.S. special forces in helicopters struck a car in southern Somalia on Monday, killing five people.
U.S. forces says one of the murdered men was a Kenyan who "built the truck bomb that claimed 15 lives at an Israeli-owned beach hotel on the Kenyan coast in 2002."
Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, 28, was also accused of involvement in a simultaneous missile attack on a Israeli airliner full of tourists as it took off from nearby Mombasa.
Sheikh Abdullahi Sheikh Abu Yussuf, the pro-government militia Ahlu Sunna spokesman, told Reuters that he was a foreign al Shabaab fighters.
A senior Somali government source said Nabhan was killed along with four other foreign members of the al Shabaab insurgent group.
Ahlu Sunna Waljamaat has fought al Shabaab for months across Somalia's central and southern regions and is allied with the U.N.-backed government of President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, whose administration controls parts of the central region and some of Mogadishu.
Nahban was killed near Roobow village in Barawe District, some 250 km (150 miles) south of the capital. U.S. sources familiar with the operation, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the United States believed his body was in U.S. custody.
A Pentagon spokesman declined to comment "on any alleged operation in Somalia". The U.S. military has launched airstrikes inside Somalia in the past.
In May last year, U.S. warplanes killed the then-leader of al Shabaab and an allegedly Afghan-trained man in an attack on the central town of Dusamareb.
Al-Shabaab has vowed to fight against foreign troops in the poorest African country. The fight has triggered one of the world's worst aid emergencies, with the number of people needing help leaping 17.5 percent in a year to 3.76 million, or half the population.
Reuters Last Mod: 15 Eylül 2009, 16:30