- The Washington Times - Monday, December 29, 2014

A U.S. military drone dropped bombs on a senior leader of al-Shabab in Somalia Monday, striking another blow against the Islamic terrorist network.

Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said in a statement that the airstrike took place in southern Somalia, near the town of Saakow. Adm. Kirby did not identify the leader who was targeted in the airstrike.

The military carried out the operation just days after al-Shabab leader Zakariya Ismail Ahmed Hersi surrendered to Somali police. Hersi had a $3 million bounty on his head.

The U.S. military was still searching Monday for evidence that the airstrike was successful, one senior defense official said.

“We’re still assessing the results of this operation,” the official said.

It was not known whether the senior leader of al-Shabab was traveling with other members of the terrorist network during the drone attack. No civilians were injured, Adm. Kirby said.

“At this time, we do not assess there to be any civilian or bystander casualties,” he said. “We are assessing the results of the operation and will provide additional information, when appropriate, as details become available.”

In September, the U.S. military killed former al-Shabab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane in a drone strike. At the time, Adm. Kirby depicted the death of Godane as “a major symbolic and operational loss to al-Shabab.”

Over the past few years, al-Shabab supporters have seized control of towns, bombed restaurants popular with foreigners, banned the Internet and whipped women for wearing bras.

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