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Sunday’s strike underscores the increasing importance with which Western powers view counterterrorism operations in the Horn of Africa.

Last October, a U.S. military strike in Somalia hit a vehicle carrying senior members of al-Shabab, killing its top explosives expert.

Earlier that month, U.S. Navy SEALs raided a coastal Somali town to take down a Kenyan al-Shabab member. The SEALs withdrew before capturing or killing their target.